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Such a tragically beautiful moment in the middle of wreckage. They had been promised that the war would last only a few months, meanwhile on that Christmas Eve they had four more years of fighting ahead of them. I wonder if it would have been different had they known that.

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This was a remarkable moment in history. Over the ensuing decades, we've seen far more tactics like attacking during sacred religious days (Yom Kippur War, EG), and I don't know if we'll see this level of unexpected humanity on such a large scale ever again. Does "hands across America" count?

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Andrew, you're exactly right. That's always the example I think of, along with the Tet Offensive. I hope that humanity continues to prevail in such horrific languages, and that it will end to the of such conflicts, rather than such fleeting moments of piece. I'm glad you enjoyed the short piece -- I previously did not know about the resulting peace on the eastern front. Now to pick a next historical moment. If you have any ideas you would like to read about, please let me know. In the meantime, I wish you a very Happy New Year. I feel grateful to have met you here over the past several months.

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Thanks, Ben! The feeling is mutual.

I love the short story format. My day can be hectic (at least once I'm done writing - that part is generally always the same), so having a short piece to dive into quickly and to think about provides a lot of value to me. Even if I know the history, it's still cool to read and talk about it here.

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A belated Happy Christmas! Thanks for educating me more on that miraculous Christmas. Does seem like a dream that it happened. Somehow seems crazier that they went back to fighting

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Harvey, Happy New Year in the coming days. You're correct -- it was a dream. That they went back into trenches at the end of the truce is one of war's many horrors. Also, I was unaware that word spread to the eastern front, where a similar truce took place. Thanks so much for reading. I appreciate it. If you have any historical moments you would like to read about, please let me know.

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Thanks. Happy New Year to you too. I kinda wish it was here already just for the mental gymnastics of it being a fresh start. Yes I was unaware of it happening on the Eastern front too. And thanks for the offer. If any come to mind I'll let you know!

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Wow Ben. Back when you actually had to look a man in the eye to kill him, you could decide for a moment not to for tradition’s sake. Powerful stuff. Thank you for the Christmas message 🙏

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Dee, thanks for your great comment. No kidding, imagine that. A buddy who was a SEAL said long ago, before drones and robotic soldiers and ant-size cameras that can “crawl and peek” around corners that the desensitization of war such that it becomes antiseptic to those in control is an extraordinary danger. He’s right.

The horror of the truce, I think, was that the bookends of that extraordinary pause was war, with those same soldiers fighting each other the following day.

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For real. I can’t imagine the horror. 😥

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Thank you.

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deletedDec 26, 2023Liked by Ben Kerschberg
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Maureen, thanks for your kind words. I’m glad you enjoyed the piece. Thanks also for the time you took to bring to my attention the kindnesses you mention. I will take a look to see if I can find enough information to write a piece -- my guess is that I can. History isn’t made up only of coronations, discoveries, battles etc. These kindnesses, individually and collectively, keep the world spinning. Thank you. I will keep you posted and certainly acknowledge you.

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appreciate the year in the song is incorrect with 1915 but thought it might be useful to share as music sometimes speaks louder than words

https://youtu.be/AtwW0hfJKSs?feature=shared

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Great piece! I look forward to reading more about history from you, Ben. This piece reminded me of a Christmas sermon I heard several years ago titled, “The Problem with Christmas is December 26,” in which the pastor talked about this truce. It was a reflection on how we tend to leave Christmas, and all the joy and peace that comes with it, behind once the calendar changes.

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This bit of history always facinated me. Thank you for your post!

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I'm picturing a fine specimen of a man(Charlie Sheen?) stretching and exclaiming 'nothing like the smell of mustard gas in the morning. 🌄.' Extremely nasty gas.

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deletedDec 29, 2023Liked by Ben Kerschberg
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I’m speechless. I don’t believe one can ever understand these horrors unless one was there. Thank you for sharing this.

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This is somewhat of a sidestep, but who is the person who first realized that hand washing greatly reduces surgical mortality? I had thought that it was a woman who noticed that non hospital birth was much less deadly than in hospital and informed the doctors to no avail. References I've checked seem to be totally pro Lister. They don't even mention a woman. Anything in your more than ample knowledge base on this?

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That obstetrician is an interesting for sure. The version I read was almost Verbatim your account. Substitute a female nurse and England( likely London) for the location and we have a match. Thanks for your input. I need access to a time portal.

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