This month Veterans For Peace Chapter 72 teams up with Cinema 21 in Northwest Portland to celebrate the centenary of the World War I “Christmas Truce” with three screenings of the acclaimed 2005 French film Joyeux Noël, a dramatization of the December 1914 event depicted through the eyes of French, Scottish and German soldiers. On Christmas Eve of that first year of World War I soldiers came out of the muddy trenches on both sides of the Western front and declared a temporary ceasefire in order to be able to celebrate the holiday and bury their war dead without getting shot at. They ended up singing Christmas carols for and with each other and exchanging gifts across enemy lines and there were even reports of friendly soccer kick-abouts. Although the truce was a brief period during the horrific, bloody “war to end all war,” it is a testament to the human desire for peace and a demonstration of the possibility for soldiers to lay down their weapons, recognize common humanity in “the other” and say “no” to war.
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VFP Chapter 72 Meetings7:00pm on the Second Tuesday of each month, at the First Unitarian Church of Portland (Buchan Bldg, lower level), 1011 SW 12th (at Salmon)