One hundred years ago this evening a miraculous thing happened on Flander’s Fields during WWI. The fighting stopped, a truce was called, and with a lone soldier singing Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht, the troops from both sides left their trenches and together, they celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ. You can read from their actual letters and journal accounts and see a beautiful short film clip produced at BYU here:
My Grandfather, Rudolf Laemmlen (pictured above) was a 15-year-old boy when that happened. In 1917 he, too, was sent to war for two years. I wonder now when we sang Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht every year at Grandpa’s, if he thought about that miraculous night.
Tonight, on the anniversary of that beautiful chilling night, in our cozy quiet family room, we sang carols, read the story of the Nativity, and remembered Rudolf and Elsa, our German ancestors. I prepared a history of their lives with several photos and the story of Flander’s Fields for my kids. You can read this account here: https://annlaemmlenlewis1.wordpress.com/2014/12/24/a-visit-with-grandpa-laemmlen/
Then to top off the evening, the kids each opened a special gift–a German Weihnachtspyramide, a traditional Christmas decoration to help remind them of where they come from, and whose blood flows through them. I love my German family members and think of them every year, especially at Christmas time when I listen to beautiful German Christmas carols and eat our favorite traditional foods. I wish my children could know and feel what I feel for those who came before us. I love them with all my heart.