Can War Have a Silent Night?

Yesterday was silly day. We covered things from sex to more Norwood shop talk to Mick Jagger, which led back to sex.
 
Today is different.
 
A friend of mine had mentioned to me the other day, to watch a Youtube of a group called “Celtic Thunder” sing a song called “Christmas 1915”.
 
My friend knows my history with Ireland, that it is the country that I love. And my time there was what change my life and gave me voice as a writer.
 
It took me a few days to get to watching it. I have been busy working and writing and moving furniture and reorganizing.
 
Two day ago, I wrote about Pearl Harbor, and other than the sexcapades of yesterday, Pearl Harbor, and my dad and thoughts of war have stayed in my pin cushion of a brain.
 
Perhaps it was meant to stay there until I watched the video.
 
The group was dressed as soldiers from World War I. The song told about two warring countries on a battlefield and how, on that one Christmas night, peace was offered threw song. Guns were put down and instead of thoughts of killing and maiming and winning a battle, all involved, were simply men.
 
The singing and words are haunting and provide a perspective that isn’t usually seen in war.
 
When guns and torture and weapons that bring death are used, it is not in our thoughts that the opponents are men and women who love and have loved ones. They are people who, if not in war, might be a farmer, a butcher, a tailor, car mechanic, number, nurse, or whatever.
 
Some wars are not personal. The destructors do not see the eyes of those who are killed. But, in war, there are also the battlefields where both sides charge at each other with bayonets, swords, knives or whatever else they can use to kill those who are running toward them who have the same mission.
 
I used to love to watch Bob Hope’s Christmas shows where he was entertain the troops.
 
It wasn’t the entertainment that I cared about, but when they showed the faces of the soldiers, far away from home, young, locally, scared, singing “Silent Night,” I cried. I cried for them, their spouses, parents, children, and for lives that were going to changed forever … if they didn’t die.
 
I am not a hawk or a dove or a warmonger or a peace monger. Unfortunately, I know enough about history and mankind to believe that there are always going to be wars. It can bee ideology, greed, maniacal thinking, or just plain evil, that can be the impetus for war. Humans seem to excel at not getting along.
 
Heavens, many of us can’t get along with our families … put that on a worldwide scale and you can see why wars occur.
 
I don’t think there is a “sane” war. Somewhere along the way, one person want off their rails and caused a mess. Sane people are drawn into wars, and good people die. Bad people die, too.
 
But don’t believe that the war ends when the last bullet is fired. Look at our history. Read about the Vietnam Veterans who have had lost lives, have broken families, and who have killed themselves.
 
Just because a truce has been signed or a white flag has been waved, doesn’t mean everything will be fine.
 
People and countries pick up the pieces, patch up relationships and lives, and sometimes fall through the cracks.
 
Yes, some “good” has come from war. Tyrants who loved to kill people because of their race or eye color or religion, have been eliminated.
 
Unfortunately, for every dictator or maniacal despot who is removed, there are many more to take their place.
 
I don’t know how many men and women from Norwood have served in the military, or who have lost their lives fighting for the rest of us.
 
I tend to think about my dad when I think of a soldier.
 
And that makes it personal.
 
I am not sure its this post has a particular point. It is simply my thinking and response to something that made me think.
 
If you have a few minutes, you might want to watch and listen.
 
Lyrics to Christmas 1915 by Celtic Thunder
 
1915 on Christmas Day
On the western front the guns all died away
And laying in the mud on bags of sand
We heard a German sing from no man’s land
He had tenor voice so pure and true
The words were strange but every note we knew
Soaring ore the the living dead and dammed
 
The German sang of peace from no man’s land
They left their trenches and we left ours
Beneath tin hats the smiles bloomed like wild flowers
With photos cigarettes and pots of wine
We built a soldier’s truce on the front line
Their singer was a lad of 21
We begged another song before the dawn
And sitting in the mud and blood and feed
He sang again the song all longed to hear
 
Silent night, no cannons roar
A king is born of peace for evermore
All’s calm, all’s bright
All brothers hand in hand
In 19 and 15 in no man’s land
 
And in the morning all the guns boomed in the rain
And we killed them and they killed us again
At night they charged we fought them hand to hand
And I killed the boy that sang in no man’s land
 
Silent night, no cannons roar
A king is born of peace for evermore
All’s calm, all’s bright
All brothers hand in hand
And that young soldier sings
And the song of peace still rings
Though the captains and all the kings
Built no man’s land
 
Sleep in heavenly peace
Roll Down
 

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