Friends General Conference

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First Day School performs "Christmas in the Trenches"

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As part of the meeting's Christmas Celebration, the First Day School performed John McCutcheon's "Christmas in the Trenches" ( The song is based on actual events during the first Christmas Eve of World War I in 1914, where scattered groups of British and German soldiers in the trenches laid down their weapons, sang Christmas songs, shared small gifts and pictures of family members, and even played soccer together (    Doug Lippincott played the song on his ukelele, and he, Martha Reid, and Tully Thompson sang the song while the FDS children and adults acted out the events, using benches for trenches and cardboard tubes for rifles.  After that first Christmas, the military authorities severely cracked down on "fraternizing with the enemy" and there were few repeats, but the fictional British solder who is telling the story ends by saying it changed their lives: they wondered "whose family have I fixed within my sights?"; "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."