Another miracle on Christmas Eve
It is with great interest that I read the article about the incredible journey of the SS Meredith Victory from Hungnam to the South by David Watts.
I know what he is referring to because I watch the same History Channel in Canada. I also own all manners of tapes and memories of the Korean War.
His story is absolutely true and remarkable because this small cruise ship equipped to transport a maximum of 3,000 people actually sailed to safety with 14, 000 Koreans fleeing the North on board.
This was a miracle of wartime.
However I know of another miracle which took place exactly one year later on Christmas Eve 1951 somewhere at the front. It was Christmas Eve and all the men representing the South were trying to feel jovial in spite of the danger of enemy artillery nearby. As the evening approached, an eerie calm prevailed and everybody was wondering what this sudden calm was all about. Then the North Korean forces played a Christmas Carol instrumental: “Silent night’’ for the Southern forces. At that moment soldiers from the North left their fighting site and came to shake hands with the South Korean soldiers and I mean soldiers of all nationalities.
They exchanged coffee, a fire to keep warm and the bit of alcohol they had. They swapped photos of their families and agreed on a ceasefire until the morning.
Fighting resumed in the morning. When I saw Iwo Jima, I remembered this tale which can be called a small Christmas miracle. For a moment, enemies had a face, a family, a personal story.
It is like all the letters left at Iwo Jima and the private diaries which gave the enemy a human face.
Please bring on more of these stories if you remember them.