|Highly Sentimentalized Depiction of the Christmas Truce|
Carillons throughout the world will ring out “Silent Night” at 19:14 p.m. on Christmas Eve 2014 to commemorate the Christmas Truce between the German, British, Belgian, and French soldiers on the Western Front in World War I. Seventy-eight participants in eleven countries will celebrate and remember the one hundredth anniversary of this action of peace. Sixteen of the participants are in the United States. The Carillon of Messines, Belgium located just north of the most famous truce site, will launch the event at 1914 hrs, local (7:14 p.m.). Performances in other time zones will follow at 1914 local time.
On Christmas Eve 1914, as darkness descended upon a brutal landscape of trenches and barbed wire, the sound of carols rising from the German lines prompted curious British, Belgian and French soldiers to raise their heads above the parapet. In the distance, they could see the glow of candles on small Christmas trees. Germans were also seen peering back. No shots were fired. Some soldiers raised their heads higher, and the men exchanged salutations. Enemies inched closer and eventually met. They shook hands, agreeing a truce for the following day.
We have been unable to find a comprehensive list of participating groups but in the U.S. we have identified the following:
Baylor University, Waco, TX
Bells of Peace in Kansas City, MO
Grand Valley State University, Allendale, MI
McGaffin Carillon, Cleveland, OH
The Washington Memorial Chapel, Valley Forge, PA
Also, we have not found much media coverage of the Truce Centennial on American media. Cable Network H2's documentary on the Truce is the only Christmas Eve presentation we have discovered.