Monday, December 29, 2014

Photos of Wartime Christmas Celebrations Underscore the Power of the Holiday

While poking around on the internet this evening, I stumbled on a series of vintage photos of military personnel celebrating Christmas on the front lines during a number of 20th century conflicts. The photographs are stunning, primarily because of the hope and kindness in the faces and eyes of the people depicted. It's surely a testament to the power of the holiday that it can bring some small measure of peace and goodwill to good people even under such appallingly difficult circumstances.

World War I | 1917: Young servicemen bring mistletoe to a London YMCA center preparing for Christmas celebrations in honor of American troops stationed there. | (Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)
World War II | 1939: A member of the Auxiliary Territorial Service in Britain kisses a soldier under a sprig of mistletoe. | (Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS)

World War II | 1940: A group of soldiers break from clearing London’s air raid sites to have some Christmas pudding. | (William Vanderson/Fox Photos/Getty Images)

Korean War | 1954: U.S. troops pass out Christmas gifts and letters sent from home. | (Bettmann/CORBIS)

Vietnam War | 1970: Pfc. James Heckman, 20, of Kalamazoo, Michigan, reads a letter attached to the Christmas present he received while stationed in Con Thein, Vietnam. | (Bettmann/CORBIS)

Thanks to THE WEEK.  See more HERE.

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