[World War I] Merry Christmas, Verdun 1914

This is a continuation of my personal remembrance of the beginning of World War I. I will post more posts during the next couple of years to mark important events of the conflict.

One hundred year ago, the sound of cannon and artillery stopped. Something unusual happened then. For some accounts, the Germans started it by asking “no shoot!” and by starting Christmas Carols like “Holy Night”. Some other accounts pointed the facts that Germans hooked a “Christmas tree” over the trench.

For the first time, the silence of the cold winter let the spirit of human kindness rose from the trenches. This was a war that engulfed hundred of thousands young men, a whole generation sent to the “casse-pipe”, “chair a canon” (a French term equivalent to cannon fodder). A lot of them left their crops (August was the final declaration of war that started the war) with a mindset of a “quick war”, went “la fleur au fusil” to the battlefield. Only to end up into the construction of trenches from the Northern Sea down to Switzerland borderline.

Some people accounted for the some improvised football game between English and German but appears some historical distortions. It does not matter, the most important is how after a hundred years, we build a land of peace in Europe. With all its dysfunctions, the European Union is the remarkable conclusion on how after a hundred year and two tragic wars, they achieve peace and yesterday’s fiercest foes are now the powerhouses of the European Union, serving under a common army (Eurocorps).

If we have to learn a lesson from this war is that no matter which race, ethnicity, religion or nationality you are, we the “vulgate” are just cannon fodder for the ruling elite. At the end, the little people pays their price of their greed and bickering conflict.

I wish that such lesson of history may apply to other parts of the worlds: Israel and Palestine, Syria.

Merry Christmas everyone.

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