Many times we try to overlook the most obvious solutions. We talk about would peace between governments. Well let me tell you a story that you be have heard before. If you are from a military family the odds are you know the story better than I.
I grow up with this story as I am sure that so many of you out their have. Legend has it that on Christmas Day 1915, soldiers from both sides of the trenches in World War One met up in No-Man’s-Land for a game of football. Because of the fact that the event if it was real symbolizes that we don’t need governments to settles our differences, nothing official was kept of this brief meeting on Christmas Day between the enemy, so our knowledge of what took place has always been somewhat patchy. However, the death in 2001 of one of the men who took part in this match resurrected memories of the occasion. We also have songs by both Garth Brooks and Celtic Funder that recounts a brave young German soldier who extended his own olive branch by going out on to the natural ground to sing Stille Nackt or in English Sillant Night. By all accounts at the end of Christmas Day 1915 the truse ended and the fighting broke out again.
Bertie Felstead, the last survivor of that football match, died in July 2001 aged 106 years. He served as a living symbol, at least to this Veteran, that we should never leave something as important as peace up to a room full of elected idiots who will likely suffer no consequence resulting from their declarations of war.
Bertie Felstead, pictured above, remembered the following:
He was a member of the Royal Welch Fusiliers.
On Christmas Eve, he was stationed in northern France with his colleagues near the village of Laventie when he heard the Germans in a trench 100 metres away singing “Silent Night”. In reply, the Royal Welch Fusiliers sang “Good King Wenceslas”.
On Christmas Day, after some shouting between both trenches, he and his colleagues got out of their icy trench and greeted the Germans. Bertie Felstead recalled that the Germans probably were already out of their trench before the British got out. He claimed that nothing was planned and that what happened was entirely spontaneous.
A football was produced from somewhere – though he could no re-call from where.
“It was not a game as such – more of a kick-around and a free-for-all. There could have been 50 on each side for all I know. I played because I really liked football. I don’t know how long it lasted, probably half-an-hour, and no-one was keeping score.”
The truce ended when a British major ordered the British soldiers back to their trench with a reminder that “they were there to kill the Hun not to make friends with him.” My reaction to the Major would have been to put my side arm up to the Officers head and shoot. Because his order would have and did cost lives that were needlessly lost. The mood of Christmas friendliness was shortly broken by the firing of British artillery. Bertie Felstead described the Germans as “all right”. I often wonder if the shot I made due to an order from thousands of miles away did any good or did I kill the man who could have been God’s answer for peace? Orders are only realvant to the situation.
In 1990 I was ordered to take out a target, but it needed up being bad Intel. The voice of my handler was yelling in my head set, “Make the shot!” I told them something is wrong. I had been watching this guy for weeks and all he was doing was running an orphanage. This was man was not a treat. I told my spotter to send back the live images of this so-called terrorist feeding around 100 orphaned children.
“Does this look right to you!” I tell my handler. “I make this shot and you just created 100 potential terrorists. Are we not trying to do the right thing here?”
I was reminded that we do not make policy, we just enforce it. I told him, “if you make me make this shot, I will be enforcing my own policy, for my oath it to justice and not to any government or did you forget that!” My handle gave me the call and I never made that shot. I never had to go hunting for the elected buffoon that made that conversation nesasry. We must always remember that every time we load that gun that we have the final choice. Before you make that shot you make not only consider that value of what you are killing but also what you are protecting. I would have become a Ronan if that shot was make. My next target would have been my handler and after that every member of the chain of command above him, until the one who made the policy was removed.
My handler new that because this is how we are trained. We do this in the manner of our ancestors, for we are the REP. Mery Christmas. I prey that one day we can put politics aside and settle our difference s on a foot ball field in stead of placing an asset in the field who could come back to bite you. Let us disassemble the FAMAS. Put away the 45 mm rounds and pick up a pigskin. Peace start here and not at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. But here is my working to those defence contractors that don’t seem to want peace. My G2 is accurate for up to 450 m for those that can’t do the math that is just over a quarter of a mile and I don’t miss.
Dr. Anthony W. Antolic (Ph. D) Theological Anthropologist