Hope and Love are the only tools known that can break down the barriers between warring nations.
Written by Steve Goodier
a professional speaker, consultant
and the author of numerous books.
|In 1942, the American consul ordered citizens home from the Persian Gulf, for fear they might get caught in the spreading conflict of World War II.
Travel was difficult, and some civilians secured passage on the troop ship "Mauritania." Passengers included thousands of Allied soldiers, 500 German prisoners of war, and 25 civilian women and children.
The ship traveled slowly and cautiously, constantly in danger from hostile submarines patrolling the ocean depths. It was Christmas Eve and they had traveled for a full two months. They had only made it as far as the coastal waters of New Zealand, and everyone on board was home sick, anxious and frightened.
Someone came up with the idea of asking the captain for permission to sing Christmas carols for the German prisoners, who were surely as homesick and lonely as the passengers. Permission was granted.
A small choral group made its way to the quarters where the unsuspecting prisoners were held. They decided to sing Silent Night first, as it was written in Germany by Joseph Mohr and was equally well known by the prisoners.
Within seconds of beginning the carol, a deafening clatter shook the floor. Hundreds of German soldiers sprang up and crowded the tiny windows in order to better see and hear the choristers.
Tears streamed unashamedly down their faces. At that moment, everyone on both sides of the wall experienced the universal truth -- that all people everywhere are one.
Hope and love broke down the barriers between warring nations and, for that moment at least, all were one family.
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