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Country Discussion Topics
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A Soldier's Night Before Christmas for the vets out there
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Kat in NJ    Posted 12-24-2002 at 06:02:31       [Reply]  [Send Email]
A military friend sent this and I thought I'd pass it along for all the vets and those with family in the military......pass along a prayer this Christmas for anyone overseas or on their way.


TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS, HE LIVED ALL ALONE,
IN A ONE BEDROOM HOUSE MADE OF PLASTER AND STONE.
I HAD COME DOWN THE CHIMNEY WITH PRESENTS TO GIVE,
AND TO SEE JUST WHO IN THIS HOME DID LIVE.

I LOOKED ALL ABOUT, A STRANGE SIGHT I DID SEE,
NO TINSEL, NO PRESENTS, NOT EVEN A TREE.
NO STOCKING BY MANTLE, JUST BOOTS FILLED WITH SAND,
AND ON THE WALL PICTURES OF FAR DISTANT LANDS.

WITH MEDALS AND BADGES, AWARD OF ALL KINDS,
A SOBERING THOUGHT CAME TO MY MIND.
FOR THIS HOUSE WAS DIFFERENT, SO DARK AND SO DREARY,
THE HOME OF A SOLDIER, NOW I COULD SEE CLEARLY.

THE SOLDIER LAY SLEEPING, SILENT, ALONE,
CURLED UP ON THE FLOOR, IN THIS ONE BEDROOM HOME.
THE FACE WAS SO GENTLE, THE ROOM IN SUCH DISORDER,
NOT HOW I PICTURED, A UNITED STATES SOLDIER.

WAS THIS THE HERO OF WHOM I'D JUST READ:
CURLED UP ON A PONCHO, THE FLOOR FOR A BED?
I REALIZED THE FAMILIES THAT I SAW THIS NIGHT,
OWED THEIR LIVES TO THESE SOLDIERS WHO WERE WILLING TO FIGHT.

SOON ROUND THE WORLD, THE CHILDREN WOULD PLAY,
AND GROWNUPS WOULD CELEBRATE A BRIGHT CHRISTMAS DAY.
THEY ALL ENJOYED FREEDOM EACH MONTH OF THE YEAR,
BECAUSE OF THE SOLDIERS, LIKE THE ONE LYING HERE.

I COULDN'T HELP WONDER HOW MANY LAY ALONE,
ON A COLD CHRISTMAS EVE IN A LAND FAR FROM HOME.
THE VERY THOUGHT BROUGHT A TEAR TO MY EYE,
I DROPPED TO MY KNEES AND STARTED TO CRY.

THE SOLDIER AWAKENED AND I HEARD A ROUGH VOICE,
"SANTA DON'T CRY, THIS LIFE IS MY CHOICE;
I FIGHT FOR FREEDOM, I DON'T ASK FOR MORE,
MY LIFE IS MY GOD, MY COUNTRY, MY CORPS.

THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER AND SOON DRIFTED TO SLEEP,
I COULDN'T CONTROL IT, I CONTINUED TO WEEP.
I KEPT WATCH FOR HOURS, SO SILENT AND STILL,
AND WE BOTH SHIVERED FROM THE COLD EVENING'S CHILL.

I DIDN'T WANT TO LEAVE ON THAT COLD, DARK, NIGHT,THIS GUARDIAN OF HONOR SO WILLING TO FIGHT. THEN THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER, WITH A VOICE SOFT AND PURE,
WHISPERED, "CARRY ON SANTA, IT'S CHRISTMAS DAY, ALL IS SECURE."

ONE LOOK AT MY WATCH, AND I KNEW HE WAS RIGHT.
"MERRY CHRISTMAS MY FRIEND, AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT."



Christmas in the Trenches Nan(TX)    Posted 12-24-2002 at 09:44:02       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Christmas in the Trenches
(John McCutcheon)

My name is Francis Tolliver, 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 toward us!'' the front line sentry cried
All sights were fixed on one long figure trudging from their side
His truce flag, like a Christmas star, shown on that plain so bright
As he, bravely, strode unarmed into the night
Soon 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 we 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 prepared to settle back to war
But the question haunted every heart that lived that wonderous 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 Tolliver, 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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