Nobody looks forward to times of war. The concept of the same species killing because of small disagreements is a disheartening one to think about. In times of war we have to endure suffering and witness terrible things. The recent addition of WW1 soldier diaries to national online archives details the horrors of war from the perspective of British soldiers. For more information on the online diary entries, follow this link.
Sometimes war can lead to people abandoning all hope in the good of the human race. There are a few stories throughout history however that stand as testaments to the good side of humanity during war. These motivational wartime stories show that there can be slivers of hope in times of crisis and inhumane action.
The Christmas Truce
War is typically unbiased towards special events. It usually doesn’t care if it is a soldier’s birthday or a holiday of any sort. The fighting usually carries on through these times and takes away from the special nature of the holidays.
In 1914 however, the national fighting of World War I took a special break on December 25th. In honor of Christmas, all of the fire was unofficially ceased on the Western Front and soldiers of opposing sides interacted with each other. The enemies strolled out of the trenches and mingled with each other in the areas where they would normally try to kill one another. It began with German and British troops competitively exchanging Christmas carols and even lead to them sharing beer, chocolate, and playing football with each other. It was a unique moment that truly spoke for the good intentions of mankind in a time of war.
Charlie Two Shoes
This story begins with the birth of a Chinese boy in the small village outside of Qingdao. Charlie Tsui lived a troubled life with very little privilege in his impoverished neighborhood. When World War II came about, he began to interact with American Marines that set their compound up near his home.
Tsui showed no fear of the soldiers and would commonly deliver eggs and peanuts to them as gifts. Eventually the marines grew to enjoy the young boy’s presence and took him under their wing. They adopted him and provided him with the food and clothes that he lacked. After a grueling battle with immigration issues, the troops managed to pay for an American education and since then Charlie has traveled around the states telling his story of unlikely wartime friendship.
This impact of this British woman’s efforts can be seen around the globe. An impressive amount of landmarks, buildings, and businesses have been named after her for her humanitarian efforts. She began as a dedicated nurse that had extensive experience prior to the first World War. Cavell’s death developed into one of the most famous motivational wartime stories of all time.
When the war broke out, Edith considered it a moral obligation to do all she could to help the troops. She wasn’t able to put her life on the line in battle but she managed to do so in a different way. She went undercover in Germany to help treat allied soldiers and escort them away from their imprisonment. Edith was running a huge risk to help the soldiers and was eventually caught by German police. They executed her but her sacrifice was not in vein. To this day millions of people celebrate her as a martyr that fearlessly defied tyranny in wartime.
The Passing of Holocaust Tattoos
The holocaust will remain an ugly period of time in human history forever. Since so many years have passed, there are very few survivors left that went through the struggle of concentration camps and lived to tell the story. A group of grandchildren to holocaust survivors in Israel have decided to do something special to commemorate their family member’s struggles before they pass.
The Israeli youth have chosen to get tattoos on their arms that are identical to the identification tattoos that were given to their grandparents at the concentration camps. What started as a small practice is now spreading and becoming more popular in Israel. Though it may serve as a reminder of a horrible time, it also commemorates the struggle that people endured and ensures that they wont be forgotten. The kids are using horrible memories in a touching way, making this one of the most unique motivational wartime stories.
Paul R. Smith
The Medal of Honor is renowned as one of the most prestigious wartime achievements one can acquire. It is only given to soldiers who exemplify an astounding amount of courage, humanity, and skill in the face of combat. Sadly, not all of the recipients were alive to receive theirs. Sergeant First Class Paul R. Smith was one of the few that paid the price of his own life to protect others and receive the medal.
While his task force was undergoing construction near the Baghdad International Airport they were suddenly ambushed by a large amount of enemy soldiers. Paul used his quick problem solving skills to organize an effective defense in an effort to save his fellow soldiers. After getting several wounded soldiers evacuated safely, he moved on to a .50 caliber machine gun in order to provide cover fire. The gun was under heavy enemy fire and Smith eventually lost his life defending his comrades. Without his bravery, leadership, and sacrifice it is likely that 100 of his fellow soldiers would have lost their lives.
Adam St. Pierre
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