0900 hours, December 25
"Her name was Anna," the English soldier said, "our wedding would have been today, if I hadn't been drafted. She was always religious, said her childhood dream was to get married on Christmas."
"I had a wife," the German soldier replied in barely accented English. "Broke her heart when the conscription letter came."
It was an odd scene, this was, two people who had previously been trying to kill each other, talking now like old mates.
1200 hours, December 25
"I get letters from my mother every few weeks, she just can't seem to stop worrying."
"Me too, and my son as well. Always warning his daddy not to get hurt."
Odd indeed, but today it was a scene that was being replicated all along the Western Front, enemies brought together by the day of our Lord.
1500 hours, December 25
"Could I join you for lunch? Our next shipment of rations hasn't come in yet."
Men who had been fighting so brutally the day before, laying down their weapons and venturing across the dead country between their trenches, fraternising with those they were supposed to hate.
1800 hours, December 25
"Have some of these cans, our present to you."
"Danke. And here, take a barrel of our beer, we have plenty to spare."
Exchanging gifts and food, stories and anecdotes...
2100 hours, December 25
"I wish this war was over."
"I just want to see my family again."
...and realising that, perhaps, they were not so different after all.
2355 hours, December 25
"Merry Christmas, my brother."
"Frohe Weihnachten, und auf Wiedersehen."
0830 hours, December 26
A heavy sadness descended upon the company as the sun made its way over the horizon, signaling the start of the new day. There was so much hatred on the battlefield, so much destruction so much devastation, but also so much love. Love for the country, for the comrades, for the wives and children left behind, and even for enemy, the men who they had no quarrel with aside from being born on the other side of a border, who in a different place and a different time, may have been their friends. But even as a single gunshot was fired into the sky, even as the truce was ended and the soldiers once again took up their guns, there was one love that was on every man's mind. One love that sometimes was the only thing that kept them going, that for the moment would have to remain unrealised. Because today they fight, but someday, maybe tomorrow, maybe in a hundred years, but someday, they will have peace.