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It was not over by Christmas

18 December 2015

December 24th, 1915

CHRISTMAS is here again, and, contrary to all hope and to the expectations of many, the war not only is not ended, but has spread eastward till it has entangled in its meshes nearly all the nations of Europe. At this season of the Christian year above all others we should wish that no other note were sounded than that of peace, but to our sorrow the din of arms resounds more loudly than ever. Since last Christmas a ruthless enemy has multiplied his crimes against humanity, piling horror on horror, outrage on outrage; and the only way that we can see to peace is through his complete annihilation as a fighting force and a danger to the world. We would not withhold respect from those who are advocating the conclusion of peace as soon as may be, for their hearts are right; but we have to look back upon the past and forward to the future — back upon the wrongs that remain unavenged, and forward to the duty of safeguarding civilization. The righting of wrongs and the prevention of further wrong-doing are as noble in their way as peacemaking. Indeed, they are, in existing circumstances, the surest means of peacemaking. In this belief we need have no searchings of heart, no misgivings to disturb the happiness of the approaching festival, save that the happiness is tinged with sorrow for dear ones missing, or anxiety for those in peril of war. In better times we have wished our readers a Merry Christmas. Until peace returns we must pitch our greetings on the lower note of a Happy Christmas.


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