"'It was unreal, sublime.... The Christmas of long ago were coming to life again, all the things we had known in our childhood, the family, the countryside, the fireside, our eyes dazzled by the tree with its sparkling candles....'" (61).
Signpost: contrast and contradictions
"Most such truces were approved by the officers for a limited time and for very specific reasons. The Christmas Truce of 1914, however, was unique. While some senior officers went out of their way to 'look the other way,'most officers worked hard to put an end to it" (69).
"'It was heartrending,' the English captain Giles Loder wrote in her diary, 'to see some of the caps one knew so well, and who had started out in good spirits... lying there dead.' Soldiers then began the sad job of locating dead comrades and carrying them back to their side of the battle line. While this was being done, other soldiers dug graves out of the now frozen earth and the dead were buried"(73-74).
The author quoted this person because this shows that this moment was like something they had experienced in their childhood.
"'... Then suddenly lights began to appear along the German parapet, which were evidently make-shift Christmas trees, adorned with lighted candles, which burnt steadily in the still, frosty air!'" (58).
the fact that some officers were willing to "look the other way" is a contrast to the fact that most officers were working hard to put an end to the truces that were happening.
The soldiers and commanders went out onto the battlefield to meet with the enemy during the truce and saw the bodies of their comrades and friends. If they hadn't gone out to meet during the truce, then they might not have seen their dead comrades.
Book Club Question
technical: is a blade that may be fixed to the muzzle of a rifle and used to stab an opponent in hand-to-hand fighting.
The soldiers wanted to not fight during Christmas, but did everything they could to keep that from happening, so the soldiers denied their commander's orders and tried to keep the peace for as long as they could.