Thursday, December 25, 2014

The Centennial Of The Christmas Soccer Truce

((HT: CNN/Masters))

It's one of the great legends of this day...

100 years ago, the western front was where the battle was the fiercest in World War I- for more reasons than just the weaponry this time of year. In what was referred to as "No Man's Land" in Belgium, it has been told that British and German soldiers laid down their arms on the day the War was promised to end and played a spontaneous match of soccer.

And we're talking hundreds per side...

It has been romanticized and retold- even making it to the Sainsbury's Chocolates ad campaign for this holiday season

The question, though, has always been: Did this happen...???

There has been eyewitness reference to it, but one professor says the whole event has been blown up to match the tale. Mark Connelly, Professor of Modern British History at the Center for War, Propaganda and Society at the UK's University of Kent gives the whole thing a "Yeah, but" mentality.

"I think it highly likely that someone, somewhere did bring out a ball and a bit of a kick about took place, but that is a long, long way from saying it definitely happened and that it was anything like a formal match rather than just men tapping a ball about a bit," Connelly told CNN.
"There is a huge difference between a truce and fraternization and we have tended to put the two together."

Here's how Fox Sports addressed the story in their "Rise As One" series...
Although, the HQ strenuously objects to beer bottles being held in a war memorial
((HT: Budweiser))

An educational program has been brought about by the Football Association (the FA) and the Premier League to continue the education of youth in the theatre. There have been annual tournaments in Belgium at Ypres, ad campaigns on their own, and educational packets to make sure the stories are not lost and the importance of remembering history is always retained.

And that's the larger message, we think...

Never forget a sacrifice and recall the bravery of those who served and continue to serve to this day...

Learn more about the Christmas Truce below...
((HT: The History Channel))

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