Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Last Known Survivor of World War I Christmas Truce Dies

Here is an interesting article about a unique moment during World War I:

This is a quiet transition that I've noticed significantly in my lifetime - the passing of the last veterans of World War I. I always remember as a teenager, noticing in gatherings of Veterans (such as a VFW in Napa, California, where I competed in the "Challenge of American Citizenship" speech contest representing Kolbe Academy in 1987) three distinct age groups - the young ones who served in Vietnam, the middle-aged ones from World War II and the old men from World War I.

It also reminds me of a piece of video I saw in Ken Burn's Civil War series of a commemoration of the 75th anniversary of Gettysburg (the video was taken in 1938) which showed old veterans from North and South marching together. There's something about these connections that fascinates me and makes me feel closer to events of long ago. It makes them seem more real or something and is part of why I love history.

May they rest in peace.

By the way, there is a lovely children's book (for children of ALL ages) that gives a glimpse of the "human" side of World War I. It is The Singing Tree by Kate Seredy. This is definitely a "can't miss" title, along with its prequel The Good Master.

No comments: