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Christmas in The Trenches

Christmas in the Trenches

This Story is based on a True Story from the front lines of World War I that I’ve heard many times. Ian Calhoun, a Scot, was the commanding officer of the British forces involved in the story. He was subsequently court-martialed for ‘consorting with the enemy’ and sentenced to death. Only George V spared him from that fate. — by John McCutcheon

My name is Francis Toliver, I come from Liverpool.
Two years ago the war was waiting for me after school.
To Belgium and to Flanders, to Germany to here,
I fought for King and country I love dear.
‘Twas Christmas in the trenches, where the frost so bitter hung.
The frozen fields of France were still, no Christmas song was sung.
Our families back in England were toasting us that day,
Their brave and glorious lads so far away.
I was lying with my messmate on the cold and rocky ground,
When across the lines of battle came a most peculiar sound.
Says I, “Now listen up, me boys!” each soldier strained to hear,
As one young German voice sang out so clear.
“He’s singing bloody well, you know!” my partner says to me.
Soon, one by one, each German voice joined in harmony.
The cannons rested silent, the gas clouds rolled no more,
As Christmas brought us respite from the war.
As soon as they were finished and a reverent pause was spent,
“God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen” struck up some lads from Kent.
The next they sang was “Stille Nacht,” “‘Tis ‘Silent Night,’” says I,
And in two tongues one song filled up that sky.
“There’s someone coming towards us!” the front line sentry cried.
All sights were fixed on one lone figure trudging from their side.
His truce flag, like a Christmas star, shone on that plain so bright,
As he bravely strode unarmed into the night.
Then one by one on either side walked into No Man’s Land,
With neither gun nor bayonet we met there hand to hand.
We shared some secret brandy and wished each other well,
And in a flare lit soccer game we gave ‘em hell.
We traded chocolates, cigarettes, and photographs from home.
These sons and fathers far away from families of their own.
Young Sanders played his squeezebox and they had a violin,
This curious and unlikely band of men.
Soon daylight stole upon us and France was France once more.
With sad farewells we each began to settle back to war.
But the question haunted every heart that lived that wondrous night:
“Whose family have I fixed within my sights?”
‘Twas Christmas in the trenches where the frost so bitter hung.
The frozen fields of France were warmed as songs of peace were sung.
For the walls they’d kept between us to exact the work of war,
Had been crumbled and were gone forevermore.
My name is Francis Toliver, in Liverpool I dwell,
Each Christmas come since World War I, I’ve learned its lessons well,
That the ones who call the shots won’t be among the dead and lame,
And on each end of the rifle we’re the same.

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What Memorial Day Means

PATTON

Memorial Day is not about picnics and barbecues. It is about showing respect to those who have fought and the many that died for our country. With this holiday it is not the war’s we are remembering, instead, we are remembering those who served and those who gave all of their devotion in order to insure that the freedoms that this country offers  would be able to be passed on to the next generations.

There are rows and rows of white tombstones in Arlington National Cemetery. The freedom wall holds 4,048 gold stars at the World War II memorial. Each gold star represents one hundred American Service personnel who died or remain missing in the war. I notice the several names etched into the granite at the Vietnam Memorial. I offer my heartfelt gratitude to their souls.

I wanted to take a minute and share with everyone the significance of Memorial Day to me and, I believe, to all of us.

On Memorial Day, we take time to remember all of the soldiers that died so that we can have our freedom. They remind us of the cost of freedom and of the quality of our character as a nation. We do not gather on this holiday to glorify wars. Rather, we are challenged to remember that when war comes unbidden to us, there are those who are willing to give their all to defend this nation.

My father fought in World War Two and his total platoon was killed by the Japanese and he survived because he played dead even though he was shot many times. My father received the Purple Heart, and the Silver Star. I always think of him on Memorial Day.

So this holiday is important to me as I remember what my father went through for me and for others.

I also think of all the young men that I went to school with who went to Vietnam. Some returned and some did not. So many of these care for young man that I knew came back broken and did not recover. To top it off they were spat on for serving their country by those who did not support the war. Whether you support the war or not always have respect for those who went into battle to fight for what they believed in and for freedom.

I think of all of the men and women who have lost their lives and sacrificed so much to fight the war on terrorism. We did not ask for this war, but without standing up to terrorists imagine how much more damage could be inflicted on the innocent.

lets-not-forget-them

I find it incredibly sad how our veterans are not being taken care of by the government that they served. Friends, let me ask you a question, when was the last time you seen a VET on the street corner in a wheel chair? Twelve % of the Homeless Population consists of Veterans, roughly 67,000 people.  Now, how can this government send money to other countries while ignoring these Vets? How can they say they care while ignoring these very Vets, who sacrificed so much for our freedom, that are on the streets? America, wake up.

Whatever you do this weekend take time to pause and give thanks for all that you have due to the sacrifice of so many men and women.

Blessings to all who have served and are serving America,
Cherokee Billie

Happy-memorial-day-sayings

The following quotes sum up for me the real importance of Memorial Day. Feel free to share them with your friends
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“Memorial Day they who for their country die shall fill an honored grave, for glory lights the soldier’s tomb, and beauty weeps the brave.” – Joseph Drake

“A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.” – Joseph Campbell

“Show me a hero and I will write you a tragedy.” F. Scott Fitzgerald

They hover as a cloud of witnesses above this Nation. -Henry Ward Beecher

Who kept the faith and fought the fight; The glory theirs, the duty ours. -Wallace Bruce

The patriot’s blood is the seed of Freedom’s tree. -Thomas Campbell

The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example. – Benjamin Disraeli

Each man is a hero and an oracle to somebody. -Ralph Waldo Emerson

But the freedom that they fought for, and the country grand they wrought for,

Is their monument to-day, and for aye. -Thomas Dunn English

For love of country they accepted death… -James A. Garfield

The greatest glory of a free-born people is to transmit that freedom to their children. -William Havard

The dead soldier’s silence sings our national anthem. -Aaron Kilbourn

For death is no more than a turning of us over from time to eternity. -William Penn

On thy grave the rain shall fall from the eyes of a mighty nation! -Thomas William Parsons

The brave die never, though they sleep in dust: Their courage nerves a thousand living men. -Minot J. Savage

We come, not to mourn our dead soldiers, but to praise them. -Francis A. Walker

If you have any thoughts you want to share about Memorial Day, please share them with us here.

Honoring All Veterans!

Honoring All Veterans! Click Picture To Read More

Greater love has no one than this that he lay down his life for his friends. American Heroes-Thank you for your sacrifice! 

No matter what country you live in it seems that War is the common denominator of civilizations. More than history books people’s personal stories captures the essence of wars and transmits emotional legacies to succeeding generations.

For me Veterans Day always reminds me of my father who served in World War Two in the South Pacific.  He was a sergeant in the army.  On one mission his entire platoon was killed and he was shot repeatedly, but played dead and was the only survivor of his platoon. He received The Purple Heart and he was given only six months to live because of his injuries.  Being the amazing man that he was he survived and lived many decades beyond the war.  It never left his heart and soul.  He always displayed the flag on national holidays and was proud to be an American.  

I think of the young men of my generation that served in Vietnam.  So many did not come back and those that did were never the same.  These young men did what they had to do, and unfortunately we’re not treated with great respect when they returned home.  So many suffered and still do from post traumatic stress syndrome.  Back then it was not recognized and now these older men are still living with the effects of the war. 

I pray for all Troops that serve their country worldwide today.  I pray for their families that support and worry about them.  I pray for their protection physically and mentally. 

Most importantly I pray that there be no more wars! 

Many blessings,
Cherokee Billie

CherokeeBillie.com

Remembering Those Who Sacrificed All on Memorial Day

It’s time for Memorial Day quotes with Memorial Day taking place on Monday, May 28, 2012. I am grateful for everyone who sacrificed their life for our country. Take time to remember those who gave so much and did not mind about paying the price. My father was a World War Two hero, receiving the Purple Heart, and I always think of him on Memorial Day.

Here’s a roundup of some of the best Memorial Day quotes and sayings to share with loved ones and honor those who have gone before us.

Feel free to share your favorite or provide your own quotes and tributes in the comments below.

They hover as a cloud of witnesses above this Nation. -Henry Ward Beecher

Who kept the faith and fought the fight; The glory theirs, the duty ours. -Wallace Bruce

A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself. -Joseph Campbell

The patriot’s blood is the seed of Freedom’s tree. -Thomas Campbell

The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example. – Benjamin Disraeli

Each man is a hero and an oracle to somebody. -Ralph Waldo Emerson

But the freedom that they fought for, and the country grand they wrought for,

Is their monument to-day, and for aye. -Thomas Dunn English

For love of country they accepted death… -James A. Garfield

The greatest glory of a free-born people is to transmit that freedom to their children. -William Havard

The dead soldier’s silence sings our national anthem. -Aaron Kilbourn

For death is no more than a turning of us over from time to eternity. -William Penn

On thy grave the rain shall fall from the eyes of a mighty nation! -Thomas William Parsons

The brave die never, though they sleep in dust:Their courage nerves a thousand living men. -Minot J. Savage

We come, not to mourn our dead soldiers, but to praise them. -Francis A. Walker

And I’m proud to be an American,
where at least I know I’m free.
And I won’t forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me. -Lee Greenwood

Show me a hero and I will write you a tragedy.-F. Scott Fitzgerald

Christmas in The Trenches

This Story is based on a True Story from the front lines of World War I that I’ve heard many times. Ian Calhoun, a Scot, was the commanding officer of the British forces involved in the story. He was subsequently court-martialed for ‘consorting with the enemy’ and sentenced to death. Only George V spared him from that fate. — by John McCutcheon

My name is Francis Toliver, I come from Liverpool.
Two years ago the war was waiting for me after school.
To Belgium and to Flanders, to Germany to here,
I fought for King and country I love dear.

‘Twas Christmas in the trenches, where the frost so bitter hung.
The frozen fields of France were still, no Christmas song was sung.
Our families back in England were toasting us that day,
Their brave and glorious lads so far away.

I was lying with my messmate on the cold and rocky ground,
When across the lines of battle came a most peculiar sound.
Says I, “Now listen up, me boys!” each soldier strained to hear,
As one young German voice sang out so clear.

“He’s singing bloody well, you know!” my partner says to me.
Soon, one by one, each German voice joined in harmony.
The cannons rested silent, the gas clouds rolled no more,
As Christmas brought us respite from the war.

As soon as they were finished and a reverent pause was spent,
“God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen” struck up some lads from Kent.
The next they sang was “Stille Nacht,” “‘Tis ‘Silent Night,'” says I,
And in two tongues one song filled up that sky.

“There’s someone coming towards us!” the front line sentry cried.
All sights were fixed on one lone figure trudging from their side.
His truce flag, like a Christmas star, shone on that plain so bright,
As he bravely strode unarmed into the night.

Then one by one on either side walked into No Man’s Land,
With neither gun nor bayonet we met there hand to hand.
We shared some secret brandy and wished each other well,
And in a flare lit soccer game we gave ’em hell.

We traded chocolates, cigarettes, and photographs from home.
These sons and fathers far away from families of their own.
Young Sanders played his squeezebox and they had a violin,
This curious and unlikely band of men.

Soon daylight stole upon us and France was France once more.
With sad farewells we each began to settle back to war.
But the question haunted every heart that lived that wondrous night:
“Whose family have I fixed within my sights?”

‘Twas Christmas in the trenches where the frost so bitter hung.
The frozen fields of France were warmed as songs of peace were sung.
For the walls they’d kept between us to exact the work of war,
Had been crumbled and were gone forevermore.

My name is Francis Toliver, in Liverpool I dwell,
Each Christmas come since World War I, I’ve learned its lessons well,
That the ones who call the shots won’t be among the dead and lame,
And on each end of the rifle we’re the same.

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