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A Military Christmas

Discussion in 'Non-fiction' started by Lias_Co_Pilot, Dec 10, 2008.

  1. Lias_Co_Pilot

    Lias_Co_Pilot Member

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    Background: A Cold War true tale of a very special Christmas I had one year with my buds.

    Time Era:1981

    Genre: Christmas, Faith, Military

    It was December 1981. I had enough seniority to take Christmas leave, but my good friends Posey and Odom didn't. I didn't think this was right, so I decided to stick out the holidays with them in the barracks. Several days before Christmas, we bought a small Christmas tree for our squadbay cubicle, and decorated it.

    We also made plans for Christmas. We knew that we got off duty at 7 p.m., and that the local supermarket closed at 7:30. Our evening was going to require split second timing. After duty, we hurriedly changed clothes. At the market we split. Odom went after cookies. I went after hot chocolate and other liquid refreshments. Posey went after other goodies.

    When we returned to the barracks, I started making the hot chocolate while the guys laid out their finds. I asked if anyone had ever read the story:"Why The Chimes Rang". No one had, so I began telling the story.

    A thousand years ago, in Europe, a great cathedral was built with spires that reached high into the sky. Atop one of the towers, a set of beautiful chimes were hung. The first rope attached to the chimes broke. A larger rope was attached-it too broke. First a light chain, then a cable, also broke. Finally, an angel appeared to the bishop and explained that the person who brought the greatest gift that Christmas would make the chimes ring.

    Word spread soon and far across the land. As Christmas was nearing, people who lived far from the cathedral began the trek to the city. A couple of day's walk from the cathedral, the parents of two boys decided to make the trek. They left their boys some food and two silver coins to make do while they were gone. It wasn't long after the parents left that the boys too made the trek.

    It was a difficult trek, across country, up mountain and down, in the cold and snow. Finally, on Christmas Eve, the boys arrived in the city of the Cathedral. There they found a long line to the cathedral. Those in line around them were dressed very well and carried chests of jewels and gold. The boys, paupers, had only their two silver coins.

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    While I told the story, I noticed Marines from other parts of the barracks appearing at our cubicle. I had no idea that that many were also there for the holidays. We shared some of our food with them. I went on with the story.

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    While the boys were in line, they noticed an old woman, struggling to carry a load of wood to her home. The woman was being ignored by everyone in line. The oldest boy instructed the younger one to stay in line, while he saw to the woman. The older boy took the wood from the woman and helped her get home. He then started a fire for the woman in her hearth so she could warm herself. The older boy then returned to his younger brother.

    The line was moving and nearing the church. The boys grew excited. Just then, a beggar begging for alms made his way down the line. Like the old woman, he too was ignored. The beggar told the boys he was starving and cold. The older boy then gave the younger brother one of the silver pieces and the older boy saw to the beggar. The older boy then took the beggar to the bakery and bought a loaf of bread. He then took the beggar to the old woman's home. With the bread, and the soup the old woman was making, there was a great meal for both.

    The older boy then returned to his younger brother as it was their turn to go in the cathedral. Finally, when it was their turn, the boys laid their one silver piece at the altar.

    From high up in the sky came a sound that none had ever heard before. It was the magical chimes ringing out their beautiful music. Everyone there knew that they were experiencing a miracle. The Bishop then held out that the boys, who had only given one coin, but had given all that they had.

    *********************************************

    As I finished the story, from outside, a Catholic church, only two hundred yards away from the barracks, a set of chimes began ringing out "Silent Night". We all got goosebumps and knew that on this Christmas Eve night, far away from our families, we were not alone, or forgotten.
     
  2. bigfun

    bigfun Ace

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    That's a great story! Thanks for sharing! I'll be telling that one this Christmas!
     
  3. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    Do you know the Dutch Sinterklaas legend Bigfun?
     
  4. bigfun

    bigfun Ace

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    Sinterklaas and Black Pete! Not really, my Father has mentioned them before but not in detail! Tell me!!!!
     
  5. ghost_of_war

    ghost_of_war Member

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    Great story!
     
  6. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    Well I mentionned this because you have them in your signature. Sinterklaas lives in Spain , he arrives on a ship around Nov 20th, then he goes around the country until Dec 5th when the whole country celebratres him. Between his arrival and Dec 5th, the kids also put their shoes near the fire place with a carrot for the horse and a poem . They sing ancient Sinterklaas songs and in the morning they get a little surprise in their shoe. On the Dec 5th night, they get the big presents. Their are special pastries called Marsepin and Taai Taai , speKulaas as well as Borstplaat (sort of meringue) . Sinterklaas only appears if you sing hard enough and he alsways come son his white horse and his valets called Zwarte Piet who carry big bags with presents. He also has a big book that will mention all the deeds done by the kids ove rthe year. If they have been nice they will get presents, if not they could be taken back to Spain (that was hell for the Dutch during the 15th century, things have changed :D. In 2008 things are no longer the same ,but I'm certain your dad will recognise the names I mention

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