Season’s Greetings – To Whom It May Concern

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Christmas Truce: A very true Christmas tale from World War 1 about human love and some thoughts about the brave martyrs from Sudan. And a Merry Christmas to all Anews visitors.

December is a special month. Big things are happening in December. Historical things. In December 1994 the head of the U.N. Commission on Rwanda estimated 500,000 deaths had resulted from genocide. In December 1804 Napoleon Bonaparte was crowned Emperor of France by Pope Pius VII in Paris. And in December 1971 the United Arab Emirates was formed, consisting of seven Arab kingdoms on the eastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula. Including the former Trucial states Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm al Qaiwain and Fujairah. Big things. Great things. Historical things.

Miracles do happen. World War 1, December 1914:
The war had been going on for five months. Hundreds of thousands had already sacrificed their lives. Roughly 100,000 British and German troops were involved. In the evening of December 24, the Germans placed candles on their trenches and on Christmas trees, then continued the celebration by singing Silent Night. The British responded by singing Silent Night in their own language. The two sides continued by shouting Christmas greetings to each other. Soon thereafter, there were excursions across No Man’s Land, where small gifts were exchanged. The artillery in the region fell silent.

The spirit of Christmas had quietly descended over the battlefield. A quantum of Solace was given to the tormented soldiers. Recently killed soldiers could be brought back behind their lines by burial parties. Joint church services were held. Sworn enemies became brothers and dear friends. The truce lasted through Christmas night and Christmas day.

The presence of something Holy was there these precious days.

Those Who Died For A Better Society In Sudan

The year both born and dies this month. This is also the time of expectations. Long lost relatives and friends gather to meet and celebrate meals together. Loved ones meet again after a long time. This is a time of joy and forgiveness and wonder. Your worst enemy will become your dear brother. That woman who always speaks ill of you, will become like your sister. The miserable and dirty beggar on the corner, will rise like a noble and shining knight. That’s the Christmas message. This is the Christmas miracle.

In Sudan, 47 families will not experience this miracle. Their dear brother will never visit them again. Never again will sisters talk to each other in confidence. A father will not see his son grow up to be a man. A mother will never again hear her little girl calling for her. Evil forces have doomed their voices to silence. And their voices have fallen silent. Forever.

But I truly believe that souls that are true and righteous shine. Perhaps these silenced souls can become a beacon. A light that leads them to the right path. Or a light of remembrance.

Merry Christmas.

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