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The View From Above

RIckenbackerEddie Rickenbacker wasn’t going to miss this. The American fighter pilot ignored his orders, taxied his plane along the runway, and took off, flying over the battlefield at Verdun. He was fifteen minutes early, and able to watch the time tick by until the armistice arrived. And then, he wrote:

“I was the only audience for the greatest show ever presented. On both sides of no-man’s land, the trenches erupted. Brown-uniformed men poured out of the American trenches, gray-green uniforms out of the German. From my observer’s seat overhead, I watched them throw their helmets in the air, discard their guns, wave their hands. Then all up and down the front, the two groups of men began edging toward each other across no-man’s-land. Seconds before they had been willing to shoot each other; now they came forward. Hesitantly at first, then more quickly, each group approached the other.

Suddenly gray uniforms mixed with brown. I could see them hugging each other, dancing, jumping. Americans were passing out cigarettes and chocolate. I flew up to the French sector. There it was even more incredible. After four years of slaughter and hatred, they were not only hugging each other but kissing each other on both cheeks as well.

Star shells, rockets and flares began to go up, and I turned my ship toward the field. The war was over.”

Tragically, of course, there were other wars, and still are. Soon, we will celebrate the birth of the Prince of Peace. From his heavenly throne, he now looks down over his strife-torn earth, waiting for the moment that his return brings an end to all wars.

Come, O Lord.

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