My Preamble to the Song “Belleau Wood” by Garth Brooks

We’re taking a slight break from the techno stuff today…

I wrote this preamble as an introduction to the song “Belleau Wood” by Garth Brooks (Sevens – 1997) as many people have asked me about the background story:

“I’ve always been an avid book reader. And so it was that I was ten years old when I came across a true and surreal story.

“The year was 1914 and the major European powers were fighting the ‘Great War’ or the ‘War to End All Wars’ – what we know now as the ‘First World War’. What began in the early summer of that year was only expected to last for a few weeks or months at the most. Instead, it would drag on for four years with some of the bitterest and bloodiest fighting the world had ever seen.

“On that cold, Christmas Day of 1914, an informal truce was declared – there would be no fighting on this day. And something magical happened.

“Eighty-three years later, Garth Brooks released a song that resurrected the memory of that moment in history for me. And so I dedicate this to the memory of those in harm’s way – and to those who believe we can do better.”

I had a more descriptive narrative for the third paragraph written but removed it so as not to ruin any surprise the listener may experience when hearing the tune for the first time:

“On that cold, Christmas Day of 1914, an informal truce was declared – there would be no fighting on this day. And something magical happened. With a reprieve from the fighting, soldiers from both sides of the barbed wire laid down their arms and turned their backs on the war, gathering together in ‘No Man’s Land’ to sing Christmas Carols, toast each other, exchange photographs, and even play a few games of soccer.”

To this day I am still awestruck by the historic event  – and I am given hope.

If you’re interested in learning more about the “Christmas Truce” there’s a great article available at Wikipedia as well as a children’s book and several movies: Joyeux Noël (Fiction); The Christmas Truce (History Channel) .

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~ by bwsd on November 19, 2009.

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