Soldier

865 – “A professional soldier understands that war means killing people, war means maiming people, war means families left without fathers and mothers. All you have to do is hold your first dying soldier in your arms, and have that terribly futile feeling that his life is flowing out and you can’t do anything about it. Then you understand the horror of war.”

–General Herbert Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr, USA

Today marks the 75th Anniversary of the D-Day Invasion of France, which opened up the Western Front of the European Theater in World War II, leading to the downfall of Hitler and the NAZIs.

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702 – Quote on The Christmas Truce

“I went to rest, and lying on my cot, I must have drifted asleep. At once my friend awoke me, saying, ‘Come and see! See what the Germans are doing!’ I grabbed my rifle, stumbled out into the trench, and stuck my head cautiously above the sandbags. And I  saw clusters of tiny lights were shining all along the German line.

Bewildered by the sight I realized they were Christmas trees! And so it was. The Germans had placed Christmas trees along their trenches. And then we heard their voices raised in song, ‘Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht…’, they were singing the carol ‘Silent Night’.

When the song finished, the men in our trenches applauded the German soldiers. We thought that we ought to retaliate in some way, so we sang ‘The First Noel’, and when we finished that they all began clapping; and then they struck up another favourite of theirs, ‘O Tannenbaum’. And so it went on.

First the Germans would sing one of their carols, and then we would sing one of ours, until when we started up ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’ the Germans immediately joined in singing the same hymn to the Latin words ‘Adeste Fideles’. And I thought, well, this was really a most extraordinary thing – two nations both singing the same carol in the middle of a war.”

–British Soldier During World War I on the Christmas Truce of 1914 [Likely derived from the work of Aaron Shepard, See Source for Details]

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591 – “Though I have been trained as a soldier, and participated in many battles, there never was a time when, in my opinion, some way could not be found to prevent the drawing of the sword. I look forward to an epoch when a court, recognized by all nations, will settle international differences, instead of keeping large standing armies as they do in Europe.”

–Ulysses S Grant, 18th President of the United States [Attributed]
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