A platoon of Germans had made a run across a coiled barbed wire barrier to ambush their American enemies, but the raid was called off when heavy gunfire stopped them in their tracks. Several Germans died on the spot, and the rest retreated to their side of the barrier. One German soldier, however, took a hit in the shoulder, became tangled in the barbed wire, and lay there, helpless and screaming, in the no man’s land between the German and American lines.
His painful wails persisted until one brave, young American soldier stood and ran to the German’s rescue. As the GI removed his enemy from the entanglement, all gunfire stopped in grateful astonishment. The heroic American freed the wounded warrior and carried him to his friends at the German line. Without fear, he then turned and walked gallantly back to his foxhole.
Eventually the battle resumed. But on that one Christmas Day, for a brief, shining moment, two groups of soldiers saw what it meant to be willing to die for one’s enemy.