On this day 99 years ago, British and German troops on the Western Front put down their rifles for a moment and celebrated Christmas together in the trenches in a series of informal truces called the Christmas Truce.
I feel like I should say something else about it, but I’m at a loss. John wasn’t there; he was either in Shrewsbury or in Hereford, seeing his family for perhaps the last time. But it seems wrong to leave an event like that with nothing but a neutral description. For what that moment represents about the human condition, about how deep down we’d rather celebrate holidays than fight each other, says volumes about the acts of righteous disobedience we’re capable of. Maybe this didn’t end the war, but it stopped the killing on both sides for one precious moment and someone, somewhere, is a grandchild or great-grandchild of a soldier whose life was spared that day. I wonder if they know that they are alive today because a bunch of soldiers disobeyed orders en masse.
Sometimes, fighting the good fight means not fighting at all. Never forget that.