Fear the War

By: Rachel Stearns


They say

Usefulness can lead to hopefulness

That somehow the world will eventually climb

out of darkness

And the endless suffering that soldiers in war face

Will end

We have a choice.

We can think and fear the worst

Some of us do

But we choose to think about better things

How the sun warms everything as it touches fields of flowers

and grows seeds into plants

How the snow folds on fields

That is only what people think

Oh the glories of War,

we tell our children

When they grow old, they will know

That the world is much a cold place

And the war will never end

But there is always hope

And that is why we still fight

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Dear Anna, Christmas Day, 1914

It is 4:30 in the morning. I could not sleep last night but now, most of the men in the dugout have fallen asleep. Some were moaning and crying about the noises at night and in the early morning. Some men are experiencing what we call shell shock. It is a terrible feeling, a constant ringing in you ears and you cannot stop it. I am fine, thank god.

Yet, the reason I could not sleep is because it is Christmas morning. You would be surprised how many Christmas songs have been sung on christmas eve. When you are at home singing carols on the streets of London, I am fighting on the battlefields of France! It was a good time yesterday when we could all take a short break for the moment from fighting in war to sing American songs. My favorite is We Wish You A Merry Christmas

As I have wrote before fighting has not been heavy. But, the very first battle of war has left so many dead. My best friend William died a couple days ago and he is missed among my regime.

We have received the first real freeze. Chilled to the bone some nights sleeping in the doug out wishing I could have a warm cup of tea or something. It started to snow last night and all the men danced with joy as it probably reminded them of home.

But just yesterday morning something incredible happened. I had been restin in my cot when one of the other soldiers came to me and shook me and said, "wake up, wake up. Look what the Germans are doing!"

We ran together to the trench and I peered above the sandbags. All along the German line there were little pale yellow lights.

Christmas Trees. And the Germans were singing. But I didn't understand. The Germans were supposed to hate us?

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