Volume 42 • Number 24 • Dec. 15, 2018
PEACE on EARTH
THE CHRISTMAS TRUCE
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THE CHRISTMAS TRUCE OF 1914 O
n a crisp, clear morning more than 100 years ago, thousands of British, Belgian and French soldiers put down their rifles, stepped out of their trenches and spent Christmas mingling with their German enemies along the Western front. In the hundred years since, the event has been seen as a kind of miracle, a rare moment of peace just a few months into a war that would eventually claim over 15 million lives. But what actually happened on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day of 1914 — and did they really play soccer on the battlefield? Pope Benedict XV, who took office that September, had originally called for a Christmas truce, an idea that was officially rejected. Yet it seems the sheer misery of daily life in the cold, wet, dull trenches was enough to motivate troops to initiate the truce on their own — which means that it’s hard to pin down exactly what
happened. A huge range of differing oral accounts, diary entries and letters home from those who took part make it virtually impossible to speak of a “typical” Christmas truce as it took place across the Western front. To this day historians continue to disagree over the specifics: no one knows where it began or how it spread, or if, by some curious festive magic, it broke out simultaneously across the trenches. Nevertheless, some two-thirds of troops — about 100,000 people — are believed to have participated in the legendary truce. Most accounts suggest the truce began with carol singing from the trenches on Christmas Eve, “a beautiful moonlit night, frost on the ground, white almost everywhere”, as Pvt. Albert Moren of the Second Queens Regiment recalled, in a document later rounded up by the New York Times. Graham Williams of the Fifth London Rifle Bri-
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gade described it in even greater detail: “First the Germans would sing one of their carols and then we would sing one of ours, until when we started up ‘O Come, All Ye Faithful’ the Germans immediately joined in singing the same hymn to the Latin words Adeste Fideles. And I thought, well, this is really a most extraordinary thing – two nations both singing the same carol in the middle of a war.” The next morning, in some places, German soldiers emerged from their trenches, calling out “Merry Christmas” in English. Allied soldiers came out warily to greet them. In others, Germans held up signs reading “You no shoot, we no shoot.” Over the course of the day, troops exchanged gifts of cigarettes, food, buttons and hats. The Christmas truce also allowed both sides to finally bury their dead comrades, whose bodies had lain for weeks
on “no man’s land,” the ground between opposing trenches. The phenomenon took different forms across the Western front. One account mentions a British soldier having his hair cut by his pre-war German barber; another talks of a pig-roast. Several mention impromptu kick-abouts with makeshift soccer balls, although, contrary to popular legend, it seems unlikely that there were any organized matches. The truce was widespread but not universal. Evidence suggests that in many places firing continued — and in at least two a truce was attempted but soldiers attempting to fraternize were shot by opposing forces. And of course, it was only ever a truce, not peace. Hostilities returned, in some places later that day and in others not until after New Year’s Day. “I remember the silence, the eerie sound of siTRUCE, continued on Page 7
Dec. 15, 2018 1
‘We, The Marines’ is a lesson in honor and love of country
By Jeri Jacquin Military Press
urrently on 4K Ultra HD, Bluray and Digital from SHOUT! Factory, directed by Greg MacGillivray and narrated by Academy Award winner and former Marine Gene Hackman is “We, The Marines.” The documentary gives viewers an inside look to the strength and beliefs of the United States Marine Corps. Hackman begins with a brief history of when the Marines began. In 1775, the Marine Corps began because men were needed to defend the states militarily from enemies. As the years passed, the Marine Corps served on the beaches of Iwo Jima and by raising the American flag, become a symbol of honor and sacrifice around the world. Serving in Vietnam, the Marines continued to serve and defend. In current times, the men and women of the United States Marine Corps are trained on the east and the west coast. From Parris Island to person who enlists comes to underCamp Pendleton to training in Yuma stand about the Corps. From the air, land and sea, MacGilArizona, it all begins with boot camp. Hackman talks about the lessons each livray gives us a glimpse of the train-
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ing and dedication those in the Marine Corps endure to become the best. Waiting for them to complete missions and come home are the families who see each and every Marine as a hero. But it is not just war were the Marine Corps can be found, they are also on the front line of humanitarian efforts around the world. Hurricanes, floods and earthquakes, they can be found helping bringing supplies and aid to survivors. That is why their creed of Semper Fidelis – Latin for “always faithful” – is something that stays with each United States Marine for the rest of their lives. A MacGillivray Freeman film produced in association with the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation and presented by The Boeing Company, “We, The Marines” was originally produced for permanent exhibition in the Giant-Screen Medal of Honor Theater at the National Museum of the Marine Corps. This striking film will not be available in living rooms across the country.
The Ultra HD Bluray release of “We, The Marines” stands as SHOUT! Factory’s first foray into the new HDR10+ technology, which allows filmmakers to present their content not only in the best quality possible, but to showcase the creative intent behind it. HDR10+ provides for scene-byscene, frame-by-frame adjustments through dynamic metadata, allowing an unparalleled level of detail. It also puts the control of content presentation directly back into the filmmakers’ hands. “We, The Marines” includes 4K SDR, 4K HRD, and 4K HDR10+ for the full UHD experience. Also in Ultra HD TV with HDR is needed to access 4K HDR and HDR10+. Narrated by Gene Hackman, it is amazing that as a former Marine he takes the tasks of speaking on the Corps. He does so with intensity and feeling while allowing those in service now to share small pieces of their own experiences and feelings. That is what makes “We, The MaMarines, continued on Page 7
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Curry turns moon fiasco into cool NASA tour As he tends to do, Stephen Curry has come out on top. Two days ago, he was a laughing stock for spouting dumb moon landing conspiracies. Now he’s getting a personal tour of NASA’s lunar lab at the Johnson Space Center in Houston in addition to cashing in on the publicity to shill his new shoes. And he gets to blow the whole thing off by blaming other people for taking seriously the words that — you know — came out of his mouth.
things about documented history. As if he wasn’t around for the whole Kyrie Irving flat-Earth fiasco to learn that lesson himself. “For kids out there that hang on every word that we say, which is important, understand that you should not believe something just because somebody says it,” Curry said. “You should do your homework and understand what you actually believe. But I’m going to go to NASA, and I’m going to enjoy the experience wholeheartedly.”
Curry opens up on moon-landing talk
It’s everyone else’s fault
On Wednesday, Curry finally addressed moon-landing-gate with ESPN and basically told everybody to calm down, that he was joking about the seminal moment in human history being faked. He’s also jumping at NASA’s invitation to visit the lunar lab. “One thousand percent,” Curry told ESPN about visiting NASA. “One thousand percent. Obviously I was joking when I was talking on the podcast. I was silently protesting how stupid it was that people actually took that quote and made it law as, ‘Oh my God, he’s a fake-moon-landing truther,’ whatever you want to call it, yada, yada, yada. So I was silently protesting that part about it, how the story took a life of its own. “But in terms of the reaction that I’ve gotten, I am definitely going to take [NASA] up on their offer. I am going to educate myself firsthand on everything that NASA has done and shine a light on their tremendous work over the years.”
Curry also wondered aloud why media and fans focused on the interesting, incredibly stupid thing that he said on his podcast rather than the inane bits about Trae Young and golf clubs. “This one got me,” Curry said. “This one got me. Because of the setting that I was in when I was talking. If you actually listen to the podcast we were talking about all sorts of wild stuff. We went from Trae Young comparisons to what sound does a dinosaur make? “… And literally out of an hour-and10-minute podcast that five-second comment of me asking, ‘Did we land on the moon?’ was the only thing people got out of that so that was — again part of why I just kind of let it sit out there is just because I was like, ‘What is this?’ There’s way more serious stuff that’s going on in our world that this doesn’t necessarily deserve that much attention. But again, I got a NASA invite out of it, and I’m going to enjoy it.” In short, Curry floated a debunked conDon’t listen to me, kids spiracy theory. He received and accepted Curry then went on to tell the kids that a personal NASA tour because of it. And it’s important to think for themselves and he got to blame other people for the thing not listen to him when he says stupid he said. For advertising information, call (858) 537-2280 • firstname.lastname@example.org
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‘You cannot extend the mastery of government over the daily life of a people without somewhere making it master of people’s souls and thoughts.’ Herbert Hoover 31st. U.S. President Served March 4, 1929 – March 4, 1933
Babe Ruth makes his famous
“called shot” in the World
tion for Reichspräsident. Charles Curtis • Emperor Haile Selassie abolishes slavery 31st. U.S. Vice President in Ethiopia on April 17. Served March 4, 1929 – March 4, 1933 • The Nazis win 37 percent of the vote in the Reichstag election July 31, becoming the largest party in the Reichstag. World events • Forrest Mars produces the first Mars bar • Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World” is in his Slough factory in England on Aug. 1. published Feb. 1. • Adolf Hitler obtains German citizenship • Germany walks out of the World DisarFeb. 25 by naturalization, opening the op- mament Conference on Sept. 1. • Mohandas K. Gandhi begins a hunger portunity for him to run in the 1932 elec-
“Tarzan the Ape Man” debuts.
strike in Poona prison, India on Sept. 20. • The Soviet famine of 1932–33 begins Jack Benny’s radio sho Sept. 22, millions starve to death as a result of forced collectivization and as part of the • Four people are killed when police fire government’s effort to break rural resisupon 3,000 unemployed autoworkers tance to its policies. The Soviet regime demarching outside the Ford River Rouge nies the famine and allows millions to die. Plant in Dearborn, Mich. on March 7. • Comedian Jack Benny’s radio show airs U.S. News for the first time May 2. • Charles Lindbergh, Jr., the infant son • The first of approximately 15,000 of Anne Morrow Lindbergh and Charles World War I veterans arrive in WashLindbergh, is kidnapped from the family ington, D.C. May 29 demanding the imhome March 1 near Hopewell, New Jersey. mediate payment of their military bonus, He would be found dead ten weeks later. becoming known as the Bonus Army. President Hoover would order their removal in late July. • The Dow Jones Industrial Average reaches its lowest level of the Great Depression July 8, bottoming out at 41.22. • The 1932 Summer Olympics open in Los Angeles on July 30. • Babe Ruth makes his famous called shot in the fifth inning of game 3 of the 1932 World Series on Oct. 1. • “Buck Rogers in the 25th Century” debuts on American radio Nov. 7. It is the first science fiction program on radio. • Franklin D. Roosevelt defeats President Hoover in a landslide victory for the presidency Nov. 8. • Radio City Music Hall opens in New York City on Dec. 27.
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MARINE RECEIVES HIGHEST NON-COMBAT AWARD DURING MEMORIAL SERVICE Sergeant Gary Wilson was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Medal posthumously at a memorial service where hundreds of Marines, friends and family members gathered at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, Dec. 12, 2018, to remember the Marine. Wilson, 33, of Fairfield, CT, died in a motorcycle accident while traveling north bound on Interstate 15 last month. Wilson’s son Ian was presented with the award his father earned during the memorial service. Wilson received the award for heroically rescuing two women from burning vehicles following a fiery multi-vehicle accident in September. The Navy and Marine Corps Medal is the highest non-combat decoration awarded for heroism by the United States Department of the Navy to the members of the United States Navy and United States Marine Corps. “Former president Ronald Reagan once said that some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference in this world. Marines don’t have that problem, and Sergeant Wilson doesn’t have that problem,” said Lieutenant Colonel David A. Becker, Commanding Officer of 3rd Recruit Training Battalion. “He positively affected thousands of lives.” The West Coast Drill Instructors As-
U.S. Marines, family and friends pay their respects during a memorial service in honor of Sgt. Gary Wilson, drill instructor with Lima Company, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, Dec. 12, 2018. Wilson passed away from injuries sustained during a motorcycle accident. Wilson received the Navy Marine Corps Medal for his actions on Sept. 18, 2018 where he rescued two motorist form two burning vehicles.
sociation has donated a brick displaying Wilson’s name, which will be added to the Drill Instructor Monument aboard the Depot to honor the fallen Marine. “We extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Sgt. Wilson,” said Brig.
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Gen. Ryan Heritage, commanding general of MCRD San Diego. “Our thoughts and prayers are with them during this difficult period. This is truly the loss of a fine Marine, and he will be missed greatly.” Wilson enlisted in the Marine Corps in March 2010. He was assigned to the depot as a Drill
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Instructor in March of 2016 after service overseas in Okinawa, Japan, and stateside at Camp Pendleton, CA. Wilson’s personal awards include two Good Conduct Medals, three Sea Service Deployment Ribbons, National Defense Service Medal, and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.
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With no man’s land sometimes spanning just 100 feet, enemy troops were so close that they could hear each other and even lence,” one veteran from the Fifth Batal- smell their cooking. The commander lion the Black Watch, Alfred Anderson, of the British Second Corps, General later recalled to The Observer. “It was Sir Horace Smith-Dorrien, believed this a short peace in a terrible war.” As the proximity posed “the greatest danger” Great War resumed, it wreaked such de- to the morale of soldiers and told Distruction and devastation that soldiers visional Commanders to explicitly probecame hardened to the brutality of the hibit any “friendly intercourse with the war. While there were occasional mo- enemy.” In a memo issued on Dec. 5, he ments of peace throughout the rest of warned that: “troops in trenches in close World War I, they never again came on proximity to the enemy slide very easily, the scale of the Christmas truce in 1914. if permitted to do so, into a ‘live and let Yet for many at the time, the story of live’ theory of life.” Indeed, one British soldier, Murdoch the Christmas truce was not an example of chivalry in the depths of war, but rath- M. Wood, speaking in 1930, said: “I er a tale of subversion: when the men then came to the conclusion that I have on the ground decided they were not held very firmly ever since, that if we fighting the same war as their superiors. had been left to ourselves there would For advertising information, call (858) 537-2280 • email@example.com Continued from Page 1
never have been another shot fired.” Adolf Hitler, then a Corporal of the 16th Bavarians, saw it differently: “Such a thing should not happen in wartime,” he is said to have remarked. “Have you no German sense of honor?” Still, a century later, the truce has been remembered as a testament to the power of hope and humanity in a truly dark hour of history.It has been immortalized and fictionalized in children’s novels like Michael Foreman’s “War Game,” in films such as “Joyeux Noel” and “Oh, What a Lovely War!” Though the Christmas Truce may have been a one-off in the conflict, the fact that it remains so widely commemorated speaks to the fact that at its heart it symbolizes a very human desire for peace, no matter how fleeting.
Marines Continued from Page 2
rines” such an important piece of filmmaking. It is an opportunity for those who might not have family members in the Marine Corps to at least understand more about it. For those who do have family members in the Marine Corps, it gives a little more insight into perhaps some of the reason this branch of the military is chosen. I have family members who are former Marines and some who are thinking of following in the family footsteps. It is a humbling thing to see their dedication and drive to succeed in their military endeavors. In the end — it is more than dedication and service! Dec. 15, 2018 7
then replied, “I think I’ll go and live with my mother-in-law.” Surprised by the answer, the doctor asked, “Of all people, why in the would you want to live with your mother-in-law?” “Because it’ll be the longest 6 months of my life!”
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A police officer pulls over this guy who’s been weaving in and out of the lanes. He goes up to the guy’s window and says, “Sir, I need you to blow into this breathalyzer tube.” The man says, “Sorry, officer, I can’t do that. I am an asthmatic. If I do that, I’ll have a really bad asthma attack.” “OK, fine. I need you to come down to the station to give a blood sample.” “I can’t do that either. I am a hemophiliac. If I do that, I’ll bleed to death.” “Well, then, we need a urine sample.” “I’m sorry, officer, I can’t do that either. I am also a diabetic. If I do that, I’ll get really low blood sugar.” proper wages to his help and sent an agent “All right, then I need you to come out out to investigate him. here and walk this white line.” “I need a list of your employees and “I can’t do that, officer.” how much you pay them,” the government “Why not?” agent said. “Because I’m drunk.” “Well, there’s my hired hand who’s been with me for 3 years,” the rancher said. “I pay him $200 a week plus free room and Labor inspection The Montana Department of Em- board. Then there’s the mentally chalHe works about 18 hours ployment, Division of Labor Standards lenged guy. claimed a small rancher was not paying
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every day and does about 90 percent of all the work around here. He makes about $10 per week, pays his own room and board, and I buy him a bottle of bourbon every Saturday night so he can cope with life. He also sleeps with my wife occasionally.” “That’s the guy I want to talk to,” the agent said. “The mentally challenged one.” The rancher replied, “That would be me!”
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rypress.com Volume 42
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