24/12/14

24/12/2014 Minister Humphreys marks the centenary of 1914 Christmas truce

The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Heather Humphreys TD,  today issued a message of goodwill to all those who will gather in the coming days to commemorate the truce of Christmas 1914, that was observed by many of the soldiers on the Western Front in the First World War.

A remembrance service will take place today (Christmas Eve) in Glasnevin Cemetery in Dublin to remember the series of unofficial ceasefires which took place during the war in the week of Christmas 1914.

Speaking today Minister Humphreys said:

“This remarkable expression of the true spirit of Christmas, the message of friendship for all people, took place spontaneously and despite the terrible experiences of war in the preceding months.  As we approach the centenary of the Christmas truce, I believe that this historic moment should remind us of the values that we share and our commitment to a peaceful future.

“Since my appointment as Minister, I have attended many events to mark the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War. I have been most struck by the personal stories; the accounts of individuals and families who had their lives changed forever by the devastating realities of the war.

“The Christmas truce was a rare reprieve, when hostilities ceased among many soldiers along the Western Front. The men recognised each other’s humanity, by venturing into no man’s land to chat, play football and even sing carols.

“Throughout Ireland and internationally, communities are gathering with special interest on the centenary anniversary to remember this triumph of faith and the soldiers’ hope for a better future.  I send my best wishes to all who are arranging services of prayer or commemoration and to those who will attend.”

ENDS

Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin , D02 TD30. Tel: 01 631 3800 / LoCall: 1890 383 000

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