You already know this story.
On Christmas in 1914, English infantry entrenched on a field in Flanders witnessed the crowns of makeshift Christmas trees begin to peek above the earthworks across the no-man's-land. Then, over the chilly air, they heard heard the Germans singing their most treasured contribution to the Christmas repertoire - Franz Gruber's Stille Nacht.
The English, who remain to this day unnervingly and unswervingly committed to caroling culture, were not about to let the Germans win a caroling competition. And so it was that Silent Night rose up to meet Stille Nacht on Christmas Day some 107 years ago. This accidental antiphony led a small but growing number of soldiers to leave their trenches to exchange a day of good will with their enemies. In some cases, they shared more than a day. This is true. This really happened. The truce, the haircuts, the exchanging of gifts and tobacco, all of the things you've read about, watched and listened to on podcasts - they really happened.
OK, the fabled soccer game in No Man's Land you have read about only probably happened, but it is too good of an image to discard for lack of hard evidence. That is true for the whole series of events, I suppose. All of it makes for an extraordinary, almost unbelievable image. It has stuck with us for a very long time now. It will be one of our stories for much longer.
Swords into Plowshares is a powerful Meme.