• December 24th


    Aiden Pierce, a young military man, was encamped in the valley on the other side of German lines. It was Christmas eve. Cold, below-freezing, snowing. He had just recieved a letter from his wife.

    You keep safe over there...and don't forget to wear your gloves! I hope this letter finds you. Safe and well. I can't wait to hear your soft voice once more, telling me not to worry and that you're home. Merry Christmas, my love.

    Your loving wife,

    A smile came to Aiden's face, as he put the letter in his pocket. It was dinnertime and the soldiers all gathered for a merry meal. Aiden had gone to sit next to his friend, Max Honicut. But, suddenly, this glorious melody filled the air. It seemed to come from German lines. The words, however, were somewhat mumbled because of the distance between the camps. But, although the words sounded strange, it seemed as if he knew every note. As though by auto-pilot, Aiden headed towards the music. His bretheren followed closely after. As they came to 'No-Man's Land', or the land between lines, they saw a young German soldier sitting there, singing a song of peace. The Germans had gathered behind their lines, as the Americans did. Feeling brave, Aiden sat down in front of the soldier, offering him some of the share of his wine. At the end of the song, the German greatfully accepted. "Danke" he nodded, sipping it happily. Following Aiden's lead, the rest of the soldiers, German or not, sat around the young German soldier, putting aside their differences. Offering each other cigarettes, pots of wine and sharing photos. Many soldiers begged to hear the song again. And, just before dawn, the song arose once more:

    "Silent Night
    No canons roar
    A king is born of peace forevermore
    All's calm, all's bright
    All brothers hand in hand
    In nineteen and fifteen in No-Man's Land."

    In the morning, the guns boomed loudly in the rain. And the once-friends were enemies, again. Aiden reluctantly fought that morning. And as the booms faded, one last shot rang from Aiden's gun. He hit a soldier and they went down.

    As Aiden's troop packed up camp, the Germans had long gone. Walking past the threshold between lines long lost, Aiden noticed his last shot lying face-down. Sighing, he turned over the poor soldier. He gasped as horror and regret filled his body. It was the young soldier from the night before. He couldn't believe the last shot he fired happened to strike someone so intent on peace, such a young soul. Grabbing a silver cross he had brought with him, he placed it upon the German's chest. "Aiden! C'mon, or you'll be left behind!" Max called. "I'm coming!" Aiden replied, still a bit shaken. As he got up from the soldier's side he whispered with sorrow: "Sleep in Heavenly peace, my friend."