Only through a poet’s verse do we understand what happened the first Christmas night. John Milton’s poem, “The Hymn,” paints a picture of what must have been.
“… No war, or battle's sound, was heard the world around;¿The spear was high up-hung; hooked chariot stood¿unstain'd with blood;¿
“The trumpet spake, not to the armed throng;¿
“And kings sat; they surely knew their sovereign Lord was by.
“But peaceful was the night; wherein the Prince of Light, His reign of peace upon the earth began....”
On Christmas Eve in 1970 both sides of the fight assumed the role of angels and proclaimed, for 12 hours, “Peace on Earth.” The senseless slaughter of Vietnam was suspended during the Christmas Truce. But nowhere in sight was there “Goodwill toward men.”