Peace on Earth

They all laughed good-naturedly and walked into the German’s front line trench.

It was almost unbelievable but Sammy Baldwin and Abe Schmidt saw many others like themselves, soldiers in the British Army, Irishmen Scots, Frenchmen and Belgians, who were all talking to the Germans as if they were long lost brothers. There were Christmas trees, with lit candles and decorations and men singing Christmas carols, in German and English. They followed the German lieutenant into a hollowed-out, dry bunker, where Germans and Englishmen were all drinking and singing together. Sammy Baldwin and Abe Schmidt were given glasses of Schnapps and toasted each other and everyone, then joined the caroling and a warm feeling fell over the small groups, up and down both sides of the Western Front. Sammy Baldwin saw a soldier whom he had become friendly with, a Belgian whose wife was due to have a baby any day now; the man never stopped talking about her, as she was living in Belgium, only a few miles from the Western Front, in enemy controlled territory. Baldwin moved over to him and they toasted each other and then the Belgian began talking. He was very happy that it was Christmas Eve and the fighting had stopped, even if only temporarily, but he was so sad that he couldn’t see his wife, his beloved wife, his beloved pregnant wife. Sammy Baldwin moved over to where Abe Schmidt was talking to the German lieutenant and brought the Belgian with him. He introduced the Belgian to the lieutenant and the first words out of the man’s mouth were: “Do you know where I can get a horse Lieutenant? I have to get to Roulers.”



Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

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