INTRODUCTORY REMARKS ON RESOLUTION ``COMMEMORATING THE 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE WORLD WAR I CHRISTMAS TRUCE OF 1914''; Congressional Record Vol. 160, No. 152
(Extensions of Remarks - December 12, 2014)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E1827]
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     INTRODUCTORY REMARKS ON RESOLUTION ``COMMEMORATING THE 100TH 
        ANNIVERSARY OF THE WORLD WAR I CHRISTMAS TRUCE OF 1914''

                                 ______
                                 

                          HON. JOSEPH CROWLEY

                              of new york

                    in the house of representatives

                      Thursday, December 11, 2014

  Mr. CROWLEY. Mr. Speaker, today I have introduced a resolution 
commemorating the centennial anniversary of the World War I Christmas 
Truce of 1914.
  One hundred years ago this month, soldiers on the Western Front came 
together to unofficially pause hostilities and celebrate the Christmas 
holiday without regard for country lines or battle lines. The truce 
gave armies on both sides an opportunity to bury their fallen comrades, 
as well as share some festive cheer while far away from their homes and 
families.
  Reports from soldiers on the front lines were that soldiers engaged 
in singing carols, sharing food and other provisions, and even 
lighthearted games. One of the most well-known aspects of the Christmas 
Truce is the impromptu football game that took place among the men. 
Many football clubs to this day recognize the Christmas Truce by 
holding commemorative games, and this year's historic anniversary will 
feature a number of recognitions in the sporting world.
  The Christmas Truce has always inspired me as a reminder that it is 
possible for opponents to look beyond their differences and see each 
other as people, but I have a more personal connection as well. My 
great-grandfather was one of the soldiers present during the Christmas 
Truce, and his story and his experiences have been passed down as 
family lore.
  I've also been drawn to this year's commemorations by my good friend 
Don Mullan, an Irish author who has been championing worldwide 
celebrations of this proud moment in world history. Don has been 
developing a Christmas Truce and Flanders Peace Field Project in 
Messines, Belgium in partnership with the United Nations Office on 
Sport for Development and Peace and UNESCO. This project has gained the 
support of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and will 
help ensure that the Christmas Truce, and more importantly, the lessons 
it has taught us, will always be remembered.
  I hope that this holiday season, wherever we are, we can all take a 
moment to remember the Christmas Truce and to remind ourselves of a 
time when soldiers laid down their weapons and recognized how essential 
it is to value humanity. The Christmas Truce is a symbol of the triumph 
of the human spirit over adversity, and reminds us that even in the 
darkest times, we should always strive toward peace.

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