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The Associated Press is exclusively entitled to the use for republlcatlon of all news dispatches credited to it or not otherwise credited In this paper and also the local news published herein All rights of publication of special dispatches herein also are reserved A—8_ MONDAY, December 25, 1944 No Frills Needed Some time ago, in advocating that Congress enact a law providing for universal compulsory military train ing on a permanent basis, President Roosevelt suggested that such a pro gram would not necessarily have to be confined strictly to teaching young men how to be soldiers, but might also include educational and social projects applicable chiefly to civilian endeavor. The War Depart ment, however, apparently does not share the President’s view, for in a circular recently distributed to offi cers it makes clear that it is opposed to any furbelows likely to complicate the task of keeping American youth prepared in order to keep the Nation secure. The primary business of the War Department is to worry about war. According to its circular, it wants compulsory military training—a year of it for every able-bodied young man—“for the one and only reason that without such a program the continued security of our national life and institutions can no longer be assured.” It wants it because “America will probably be the initial objective of the aggressors in any next war” and because it “is abso lutely essential in any practicable plan that can be considered ade quate” to insure the future safety of our Nation. But it wants it without frills; it wants it to be strictly a soldier - making business unencum bered by any activities that are non essential to preparation for combat. Whatever may be the virtue of the broader program vaguely outlined by the President, the War Department’s position seems to be a very sensible one. For no year of compulsory training can be fully effective if it is devoted part of the time to non military pursuits and part of the time to military ones. Modern war fare is such that young men require fully twelve months to become ade quatedly educated in its techniques, so that if we are to have what out foremost Army leaders say we must have, if we are to have compulsory training, it ought not to be cluttered up with nonessentials. After all, the best way to learn about soldiering is to learn wholly about it, and not half about it and half about something else. In itself, moreover, this kind of thoroughness involves the learning of so many things useful in civilian life that it is hard to see why any special educational or social projects should be necessary. As Others Should See Us The United States faces a chal lenging task in making itself—its war effort, its fidelity to democratic Ideals, its peace aims—understood by the peoples of other countries. This is especially true as regards the liberated nations of Europe, long "blacked out” from factual woi;ld news and fed on German propa ganda. It is not from vanity that we want other peoples to know about and understand America. We want and need co-operation from them, and we hardly can expect co-operation from an uninformed or misinformed people. With normal, peacetime fa cilities for a flow of information to the continent through regular news agencies, books, periodicals, movies and other non-Government media largely disrupted by the war, the Of fice of War Information has the main responsibility for the projec tion of America into the minds of the people in liberated Europe. The OWI has faced severe handi caps. Until recent months, the only facilities available were short-wave broadcasts from the United States and leaflets dropped over Europe. Naturally, these gave priority to "psychological warfare” against the enemy. Now, with France and oth er parts of Europe liberated from the Nazis, there are many practical difficulties in the way of disseminat ing basic information. On the con tinent, electric power generally is so scarce that few radio stations can operate there effectively. The peo ples’ radio sets-are wearing out. Sin gle-sheet newspapers have little space left, after satisfying their read ers’ appetites for information of the battle fronts and domestic politics, to publish the extensive news file radioed from this country by OWI. Military requirements leave little shipping space for sending maga zines and books directly to the lib erated countries from the United States. On the positive side. ABSIE, the OWI’s American broadcasting sta tion in Europe, is devoting consider able time on its broadcasts from England to information for the lib erated peoples. An exhibit entitled "Since 1939,” telling the story of world happenings since that date and America’s part in the war effort, is reported drawing crowds averag ing 5,000 daily in Paris. Traveling •xhibits are being arranged by OWI I for showing in other French cities. The OWI picture magazine "Voir” and news-digest magazine “U. S. A.” are being sent into France in large quantities. American movies, par ticularly newsreels distributed by Allied agencies, again are being shown and enthusiastically received in France. A group of French news papermen is being selected to visit this country and take back to France a first-hand report of America’s war I effort on the domestic front. All of this is indicative of prog ress, but there remains much to be done. Christmas Christmas this year is being cele brated under circumstances which are conducive to close examination of the meaning and significance of the occasion. As President Roosevelt suggested last night, the observance of 1944 is not altogether happy. But for that very reason, perhaps, the annual commemoration of today has an importance far beyond that of any other year within the experience of living men and women. People know now, as possibly they never knew before, that the divine gift of the Saviour is not a benefac tion to be had merely for the casual taking. The story of the Nativity as told in the second chapter of the gospel according to Saint Luke con tains in the fourteenth verse a thought which is interpreted vari ously. It represents in one form the heavenly host praising God and say ing: "Glory to God in the highest and on earth, peace good will toward men” and in another, more recent version: "Peace on earth to men of good will.” Whichever text be accepted, the conception involved is certain to . appeal profoundly to thoughtful per sons. Those individuals who now are at the middle station of life have lived to witness the tragedies, the sorrows of two great universal con flicts. Neither of the world-devas tating disasters had its origins in issues of vast or all inclusive impact. In each instance, the cause and motivation of the strife have been discovered in some relatively minor difference between states. There has been no truly funda mental contention. Both the First World War and the Second have developed out of disagreements which were at best matters of sec ondary character. When historians of the distant, philosophic future look back upon the three decades be tween the assassination of the Arch duke Francis Ferdinand and the pre vailing struggle in France, Belgium and Holland, they well may be amazed that no cure, no corrective, ! no solution was available to man kind. But the answer to the obvious question has been available for gen erations t.o even the unlettered masses of the human race. It lies in the personal integrity of the aver age individual. Righteousness and peace are not to be had in this world without honesty and fair - dealing among the generality of men. Christ mas is the occasion for the reaffir mation not merely of fellowship and brotherhood but, most particularly, of the essential merit of ordinary citizens as beneficiaries of the ex ample of Bethlehem. Christmas in 1944 provides an opportunity for the reaffirmation of the angels’ message of serenity and harmony on earth in terms of a will to good among -all classes, all conditions, all nations, all races of people. — Burma Front Although military events in Burma are overshadowed in popular interest by news from other war theaters, it is gratifying to know that the course of operations there is proceeding satisfactorily. The end of the mon soon season last October makes cam paigning relatively easy until next May or June, and the favorable posi tions attained by the various Allied forces in Burma before and even during the monsoon rains make it possible to progress more rapidly than ever before. The chief military objective con tinues to be a junction between the new Ledo highway constructed from Assam through Northern Burma and the old Burma road leading into China. The last Japanese strongholds barring that junction seem about to fall, and it is probable that, before spring, a hookup at some point will have been made. To be sure, such an event will not have the strategic importance it would have had a year or two ago, because China’s position has greatly worsened and even the full use of the new communications line could hardly suffice to redress the unfavorable balance. Also, it is by no means unlikely that the Japa nese will succeed in cutting the old Burma road at some point well inside China, thereby neutralizing the re opening of the Burma end. The overrunning of South-Central Ching. by Japanese armies and the impending completion of an over land route by them all the way from Manchuria and Korea to Indo-China and Malaya profoundly alter the general strategic picture, including Burma. Incidentally, -the Japanese have built a link between the railway systems of Thailand and Burma, thus rendering their garrisons in the latter country partly independent of seaborne communications. This is important, since sea supremacy in the Bay of Bengal is passing into British hands, thus making possible a landing at Rangoon, Burma’s water gateway, in conjunction with drives by Allied troops from Northern Burma and the Indian border. Indeed, it is by no means incon ceivable that the Japanese high command, faced with pressing com mitments elsewhere, might decide to give up Burma without too costly a resistance. Strategically speaking, the Japanese occupation of Burma L \ ' has already paid its best dividends by blocking the Burma road and threatening British India with inva sion. Once those two situations have been liquidated, Burma becomes a sideshow in Japanese strategy. The question is, however, whether the correlative diminution of Burma’s value to the Allies might make its speedy conquest worth the price. Time Out for War A good case might have been made in favor of a definite and clear-cut policy to retain profes sional sports in wartime and to grant occupational exemptions to at least a proportion of the players. But there has been no definite policy in this respect. Professional sports have beeh kept alive, in the main, by the availability of players deferred from military service on the strength of physical defects. One result has been public cynicism in regard to the bona fides of ex emptions classifying as unfit for military service the husky athletes who earn a livelihood through their physical prowess. War Mobilization Director Byrnes is well advised in making his request that deferments of professional athletes be thorough ly rescreened by selective service. The result may be a better public un derstanding of how men who can meet even the lowered standards of professional football, baseball, bas ket ball and hockey can be marked down as incapable of far less exact ing duty in the armed forces. In this connection, it is interest ing to note that while the race track authorities are for the most part patriotically accepting without ques tion Mr. Byrnes’ ban on racing, some of them make the point that racing still is permitted in England and, until a short time ago, in Ger many. But is it not about time that we cut our own pattern, stop de pending for guidance on what some other countries are doing? We must know, by this time, that part-way measures at home are inadequate; that until we are putting every available resource at home into the fight, we shall lag behind what we ought to be doing. That may be the main consideration behind Mr. Byrnes’ crackdown on luxury sports. One may hope that it is. Time was when only a millionaire could own an old master. At the National Gallery, however, It now is possible to buy true-color prints of priceless pictures for less than a neighborhood movie ticket. A Baltimore paper recently ran an advertisement offering a reward of a carton of cigarettes for the return of a bunch of lost keys. It is believed that they must be the proverbial keys to the mint. This and That By Charles E. Traceicell. "SILVER SPRING, Md. “Dear Sir: "Apropos of your discussion of the older novelists, I wish to put in a word for Anthony Trollope. I suppose that he is not much read today, but that is a reflection on contemporary taste, not on Trollope. "In reading Jane Austen, I am con scious of the author, and I know her characters only as she chooses to show theln to me. It gives somewhat the impression of a puppet show with Jane Austen pulling the strings. "Reading her is an intellectual pleas ure, but it does not give much emo tional satisfaction. Trollope, on the other hand, while not so acute, is broader in his sympathies and gives us rounded characters whose deeper emo tions are not kept out of sight and who seem to belong to the real world. "Some of them are among the most lovable characters in fiction. I would recommend to any person of cultivated taste who has not been so fortunate as to discover Trollope, that he read the Barchester novels. "Sincerely, P. R. B." * * * * Our correspondent likes the works of Trollope because that writer was, above everything else, an honest man, and honesty today makes a mighty appeal. Consider Trollope’s attitude toward the Christmas story. If there is anything English authors of the old school are celebrated for it is their Christmas stories. In fact, when we think of such tales, we instinctively think of Dickens, Thackeray, etc. Anthony Trollope wrote such stories— but he had his tongue in his cheek, and plainly said so in his autobiography. This. was one of the things which turned England against his books after his death. But time moves on, and customs and manners, and today we esteem him for the very thing they sniffed at him for in his own day and for some years thereafter. "I was called upon by the proprietors of the Graphic for a Christmas story,” wrote Trollope. “Nothing can be more distasteful to me than to have to give a relish of Christmas to what I write. "I feel the humbug implied by the nature of the order. A Christmas story, in the proper sense, should be the ebullition of some mind anxious to in still others with a desire for Christmas religious thought, or Christmas festiv ities, or, better still, with Christmas charity. “Such was the case with Dickens when he wrote his two first Christmas stories. But since that the things written annually—all of which have been fixed to Christmas like children’s toys to a Christmas tree—have had no real savour of Christmas about them.” * * * * Today we see that old Trollope was right in his judgment of Dickens’ Christmas stories. There is an entire book of them, but most readers, even ardent Dickens en thusiasts, have read only the “Christ mas Carol” and "The Cricket on the Hearth.” It will still be a question whether a competent writer cannot, merely by taking thought, write a real Christmas story even though he lacks, at the very time of writing, the real spirit of Christmas. Anthony Trollop® was, above all, an honest man. He was an active, doing sort of man, who worked at two jobs at once, that of a postal inspector and as successful novelist. He did not let the one interfere with the other. If his characters impress readers today as having deeper emotions than those of Jane Austen it is because of their creator, who saw life whole and faced It honestly. A 1 Letters to The Star Pens a Reverie on Forgiving Foi4 Christmas Time To the Editor of The Star: When the Christmas season is upon us, the Christmas spirit should be with in us. The Christmas spirit influences human conduct in various ways—it prompts us to get and forget, to bear and forbear, to give and forgive. Through the spirit of Christmas we get visions—visions of pinched faces, twisted forms, and starved souls; through it we forget selfish ends, per sonal dislikes, and fancied injuries; through it we bear the blows and darts of our own misdoings, and forbear the faults and injustices of others; through it we give good and forgive wrong. The spirit of Christmas is conceived in the heart of love, born in the manger of humility, and nurtured on the breast of tolerance. The giving of goods does not always argue philanthropy; on the contrary, it may be a source of profit. The real test of character is one’s forgiving the wrongs of others. Magnanimity alone can pass such tests. The great and strong forgive, forget, forbear, and grow; the small and weak harbor, re member, whine, shrivel and decay. The noble counteract the venom of hatred with the antidote of tolerance at the inception of the malady; the mean feed their vitals to the vulture of revenge. The strong extinguish the burning fuse of* malice with one puff of tolerance; the weak fan fancied sparks into con suming flames, and then perish amid the conflagration. He who forgets evil gets good in return. It is difficult to determine which is farther removed from the throne of heaven, the impenitent or the vindic tive; both journey toward the same goal, yet in opposite directions. Many a new-turned page in the Book of Life reveals another of infamous writing. Before we “write” another act, lets “right” the one already enacted. Unless the Christmas spirit cleanses our hearts of embittered memories, im placable enmity, and plotted revenge, we shall experience a Christless Christ mas, though we empty purse, pocket and pantry to feed the poor. The Star of Bethlehem will shine upon the abode of him who, in the peace of his own heart, lies |lown in hovel or palace with good will toward all men. In him shall be reborn God's Christmas gift to the children of men. Forgiveness is the last word on the lexicon of life—the last word from Him who died that life may be abundant. DR. T. K. MUSICK. ‘He Knew Lincoln’ To the Editor of The Star: I was much interested in a news story appearing in The Star recently concern ing a recently found bit of Lincolnia. The missive quoted was written in longhand by President Abraham Lin coln to the adjutant general of the Army concerning release from the Army draft of one “Crook” and another individual whose name I cannot recall. Unquestionably, President Lincoln re ferred to “Col.” William H. Crook, who was a personal bodyguard of the mar j tyred President, and whom the writer knew well in the early years of this correspondent's residence in Washing ton. I first met “Col.” Crook in 1904 when he was executive secretary at the White House. “Col.” Crook was a brother of Dr. Harrison Crook, at that time one of Washington’s leading physicians, with offices at Fifteenth and L streets, and a cousin of Gen. Crook, the re nowned old Indian fighter of our Army. “Col.” Crook and his wife (nee Priddy) lived on Park road N.W., directly across from where the present Church of the Sacred Heart now stands at Sixteenth street and Park road N.W. They main tained a fashionable boarding house for select clientele. “Col.” Crook wras a handsome man with snowy white hair and full rounded beard. He was meticulous in his attire, and his manners and deportment were exemplary and truly representative of the Southern gentleman of poise and character. Among those who lived with “Col.” and Mrs. Crook for short stays or per manently, I recall; William Loeb, secre tary to President Theodore Roosevelt; Rudolph Forster, lately deceased execu tive secretary to President F. D. Roose velt; Ira R. T. Smith, in charge of the mail at the White House; Harry L. Charlton, now retired and living in Alta dena, Calif.; a Mr. Netherlands, who was a White House attache, and scores of cabinet members, Senators and House leaders. “Col.” Crook idolized President Lin coln, and I have a lengthy mental store of his personal reminiscences of the martyred President, which he related to me in great and reverent detail. He died believing that if he had not taken the night off the President would not have been slain by Booth. He believed that had he been on duty Booth would never have been allowed to creep up to the presidential box, as he would have pre vented such action. His memory for detail was prodigious, and his manner of discussion most Illuminating and vivid. He gave Miss Ida Tarbell, the novelist, much data and personal characterization for her book: “He Knew Lincoln.” “Col.” and Mrs. Crook both are dead, but my wife and I are in regular cor respondence with his stepdaughter, who resides in Memphis, Tenn. “Col.” Crook was an amiable an<f de voted public servant. His idea of honor was spelled with a capital “H,” and knegr no alternations or debasement. ^Ie was a splendid gentleman of the old school, and it is a happy memory and a pleasure to tell the fortunate owner of this bit of Lincolnia that it refers to a gallant character in the person of “Col.” William H. Crook. C. MELVIN SHARPE. It Must Go On From the Toronto Globe end Mall. Unbroken smoothness in the workings of the war partnership of the United States and the British nations hardly could have been hoped for, and there have been occasional rifts and disputes due to honest differences of opinion about policy, one of them having emerged recently in connection with the provisions of a new government for Italy. But such differences are super ficial excrescences and while mischief makers in both countries will exploit them they cannot and must not be al lowed to hinder the continuance of the harmonious co-operation of the Anglo Saxon peoples, which is today winning the war, for the equally important tasks of peace. If it were to break down and the British and American peoples were to go their separate ways, even without engaging in competitive rivalry, the hopes of building a new world order which would guarantee peace and secur ity would fade and the war would have been fought in vain. I This Changing World By Constantine Brown There is one great gift the American people have been anxiously expecting on Christmas day—the major Russian offensive on the Eastern Front against the main German defense lines west of Warsaw. The United States has been playing Santa Claus to all our allies for the last three years, and she has enjoyed this role as much as the wealthy head of a family enjoys giving presents to members of his family and trusted friends. One of our closest allies, the Russians, have benefited to the tune of more than $8,000,000,000 from Uncle Sam’s treasury cjiest. Through lease lend the Russians have received every thing from tanks and planes to butter and gold braid in as large quantities as they required. In less than six months After Pearl Harbor the Russians asked us to start a large scale offensive on the Western Front. We could not then comply with their request because we were just get ting ready to fight. But in November, 1942, we did undertake the offensive in North Africa. This, our ally complained, was of little value to them since the fighting in Africa was thousands of miles away from the scene of battle where the Germans were putting forth their main effort. * * * * Now we have become hard pinched. The Germans, taking advantage of the secondary operations on the Eastern Front, have plunged some of their best divisions against the American forces which have been fighting relentlessly since June 6. And we do not have the sairtfc reservoir of manpower as the Rus sians have; we must fight a strong enemy in the Pacific and our men in Europe are fighting 5,000 miles from their main bases of supply. The Russians had agreed at Teheran to synchronize their offensive with ours—provided the battle of Nor mandy turned in our favor. Since the middle of July, when they stopped with in four miles of Warsaw on the eastern bank of the Vistula River, they have had ample time to regroup their forces and gather the necessary supplies for the coup de grace we had all agreed at Teheran would be delivered on the Ger mans this year. The Russians have never eased the fighting with their usual courage and skill. But since last summer their military operations have had a political character and have not helped the Americans fighting in the West. Washington has addressed a number of queries to Moscow in an endeavor to learn the operational plans of the Russian armies. But notning positive could be exacted from their commander in-chief. Indirectly, however, we have been given to understand that we could expect something to our advantage in the latter part of December. Some ob servers have drawn the conclusion from the available information that the Rus sians might place in our Christmas stocking a real offensive which would roll the Germans from the Polish plains west of Warsaw to far behind the Reich’s frontiers. In recent days it was hoped that the Russians would not fail to hit the enemy between December 25 and January 1 with all their might. While such an offensive may not have an immediate effect on the actions of the Germans on the western front, it would offset the effect of the “shot in the arm” Marshal von Rundstedt has given the German people, who were facing their bleakest Christmas in history. * * * * High-ranking American military men are particular about the Christmas package they expect from Premier Stalin. They maintain that neither the capture of Budapest, a Russian march toward the Istrian peninsula on the Adriatic, nor an offensive with a considerable force of say 20 divisions in East Prussia will be the answer to Uncle Sam’s prayer. Only a major offensive with the 200 divisions which the Russians are report ed to have available in Poland would be really satisfactory and telling on the enemy. “Uncle Joe” has the means with which to give this gift to Uncle Sam. And if the offensive west of Warsaw does not materialize between Christmas and New Year, some observers may suspect the intentions of the Russian high command. This .would force us to revise the plans carefully laid at Teheran and afterward. On the Record By Dorothy Thompson God’s peace, primeval leader to fellowship, we now peacefully praise. For. peace is the atonement, the con sent who generates and operates one common nature in f 11. All long for peace. She converts the divisible multitude to total oneness, not silenc ing all movement but intending every one's proper movement. She re duces the civil war of the universe to a harmonious settlement. JOHANNES ERIUGENA. I have headed this Christmas edi torial with a quotation from a medieval philosopher, attributed to the year 850 A. D., toward the close of the so-called "Dark Ages.” which bear for all our modern science a terrible resemblance to our own age. For then, as now, a world system and civilization had fallen to pieces, leaving social and political disintegration and an Intellectual and spiritual vacuum to fill which two ideas j were contending—what in modern i phraseology would be called "power poli I tics,” and that of the Christian faith preaching unity in God. It was this antagonism which made the Dark Ages dark. In the time of Eriugena the darkness was beginning to lift as the concept of a moral and spiritual order governing the behavior of princes and kings and the relations between classes and peoples was slowly emerging. * * * * Eriugena's words reveal the true na ture of peace. “She converts the divis ible multitude to oneness . . . she re duces the civil war to a harmonious settlement . . . peace operates one com mon nature in all.” The presumption of the "common nature" is essential to peace. Yet the times when this common nature was assumed by the philosopher, at the beginning of the ninth century, showed no outward and visible signs of it. All Europe rocked with wars—not one war but continual and unremitting wars— for centuries the fragments of a broken civilization had been fighting each other; Asiastic hordes were attacking Europe and settling in its midst; Moor ish tribes were coming from the south; strong men, mobilizing the countryside, fought to establish fiefs for themselves, and other strong men sought to oust them. The concept of law was non existent. The idea of equal citizenship partially established in the Roman era was gone. Wars were "wars of sur vival.” The enemy had no rights. The contenders sometimes carried the banner of Christ, but it was a char ter only for themselves. Thus Charle magne, in the name of Christ, having conquered the Saxons (who believed in Wo tan i, executed them wholesale in a bath of their own blood. And there seemed no end of all this. Yet the philosopher dared to speak of a common nature in all men. * * * * -Peace has its laws no less than war. No lasting peace can be made on the concepts of war. There is no peace as long as an enemy is an enemy. It only exists when he becomes a friend. He can only become a friend, when a new integration can be formed around a superior social and political concept, in the framework of which persons and nations can find oneness not through elimination of any but of the “proper movement’’ of all. . Our war continues because that superior integration in which all per sons and nations can find peace and proper movement is not before the eyes of the people. Peace is consent. Peace is agree ment. Peace is the recognition of a common nature, in which all find lib erty under equal law. Hie presumption of peace is that what is good for me, and for my na tion, is good for you and for all nations. And until we find that concept under which victorious nations and defeated nations can live by consent, in recogni tion of Justice, this war will not end, though it may manifest itself in other than the present ways. * * * * Peace is not something to be nego tiated. It is not of the market place. It is not to be bought or sold, for a haggled price. Peace is not security to be grabbed by expansions of power, each expansion of one necessitating an expansion of the others until they clash. Peace is not something to be imposed by force. Peace is organic harmony, growing out of the factors that unite men—their common needs, rights, loves, yearnings, ideals, despairs. Statesmanship is the art of discerning and promoting the indivisible factors: it lifts a banner to which all men and nations can, without prejudice to their just aspirations, freely repair; it articu lates maxims that are of universal validity, and promises impartial appli cation of them. Only thus is harmony possible, only harmony Is social happiness, and only social happiness is peace. (Released By The Bell Syndicate. Inc.) Season of Memories By Maj. George Fielding Eliot ine unristmas season is always a season of memories. This is a war Christmas—the sixth war Christmas for most of our Allies (though it is the ninth for the Chi nese) ; it is our fourth. On our first war Christmas the Nation was still reeling under the shock of the disaster at Pearl Harbor. We are not likely to forget that Christmas for a long time. Looking back on it we realize how little we then understood the mag nitude of the task and of the sacrifices which lay before us. On our second war Christmas, matters were a little better. We were begin ning to turn the tide in the Pacific and in Europe. On our third, we could speak with some confidence of the fu ture—it was clear that we were not going to be beaten, but the road still seemed long and difficult. Our fourth war Christmas comes to us in the midst of the last desperate . enemy effort to check our victorious advance in Western Europe. We have succeeded in landing the full might of America and Britain on the continent of Europe, we have smashed the famed Atlantic Wall, we have brought our armies to the western frontiers of Ger many itself, we have liberated France, and we have compelled the enemy to throw his last stake upon the board. We are engaged, on this Christmas, in a mighty struggle to destroy this final enemy countereffort, into which he has put his all. * * * * Solemnly in this Christmas season, we may reflect on the sacrifices our sons and brothers and dear ones are making along the Western Front from the val ley of the Meuse down through the hills and woods of the Ardennes and in the little towns of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. We know that in the surrounded garrisons behind the wave of the current German advance, our men are having no very cheerful Christ mas, that the airborne K rations form the bulk of their Christmas dinner, that they will spend the hours of Christmas Day not in happy relaxation, but in bit ter struggle with a desperate enemy. But we know also that from the north and from the south the divisions of the Allied armies are gathering on the ! flanks of the German effort; we know that the German attempts to fan out to north and south have been checked at every attempt; we know that Ger man progress westward means only ad ditional peril to the irreplaceable Ger man armored divisions as long as .hey cannot swing right or left to exploit their gains. For the counterblows, when they come, will strike at base of the German penetration, cutting the supply roads by the life-blood of the German effort flow's to the westward. And we know that a kindly Providence has given our fighting men the very best Christmas present that they could have asked for. the Christmas gift for which they must have prayed during the days of fog that helped the Ger mans so greatly—two days of clear weather in which our airmen can strike against the German armor, the German supply columns, the German troop for mations. Friday was clear and Friday was spent very largely in overcoming the resistance of the Luftwaffe; Sat urday likewise dawned clear, with fewer German planes in the sky, more time therefore for our air power to hit the Germans on the grounds. If Christmas Day is likewise clear, we may begin to hope that the tide has been turned. * * * * This writer has seen some war Christ mases in earlier days—the Christmas of 1915, when we lay in Egypt licking our wounds and counting the vacant places In our ranks after the terrible defeat of Gallipoli; the Christmas of 1916, when we were reckoning the awful cost and the tiny gains of the great Somme bat tle; the Christmas of 1917, when the bloody mud of 'Passchendaele had filled men’s hearts with something very like despair. This is no such Christmas of bitter reflection and uncertain promise. It is a Christmas season in which we may look back with pride upon the ac complishment of the year just ending; when we may look forward to a future bright with hope, a year which certainly will see one of our enemies brought to defeat, a year which will just as cer tainly see the other reeling under the blows of our concentrated power as we and our Allies close in upon It, (Ceentsht, 1944.) I Long Allied Delay Seen If Nazis Retake Liege Henry Fears Germans May Wreak Vengeance on Belgians By Thomas R. Henry Hal Denny and I crawled over the wooden girders of a blown-out bridge across the Meuse River into Liege. It was early September. The Ameri can 3d Armored Division had come up the right bank at the river with only spasmodic sniper opposition. We had pushed on ahead and consequently were the first men in American uniforms inside the main section of the big Walloon city through which twice within 25 years the spearheads of Ger man invasion had been pushed west ward and southward toward Paris. For the last three days, all the way from Charleroi, we had experienced from the frantically rejoicing, half starved population such a reception as human beings seldom have known. They had lined the road in a solid wall. They had pelted us with dahlias, green pears and apples, grapes and quinces, bottles of beer and orange and black paper flags. Whenever our jeep had been held up for a moment it had been inundated* with mothers holding dirty babies to be kissed and younger women who covered us with kisses. Nursed by Elderly Couple. I do not know whether it was the beer we had drunk, the babies we had kissed, the women who had kissed us or the green apples we had eaten. At any rate, we both were sick. The night before, a few miles from Liege, we had been nursed tenderly by an elderly couple who insisted on giving up their beds to us. They also insisted on giving us breakfast. j I am sure they themselves didn't eat j for a few days in consequence, but I am i sure they would have been insulted if we had not eaten their eggs and toast. The old gentleman had lived in New Jersey. He had been an amateur cyclist back in the early days of the century and his proudest possession was a pic ture of a cycling club in an American sporting magazine, in which he had a prominent position. But we still were sick when we crawled over the broken girders, into Liege. We hadn’t the slightest idea of what was ahead of us. We only hoped that we could get beds for the night to escape pneumonia. If we had known | what was before us I do not think we would have crossed the river. Over the bridge we met some apathetic citizens who directed us to the Svede Hotel, Liege's chief hostelry, a few blocks away. We did not get there until hours later. The mob appeared from nowhere. They overwhelmed us. We tried to fight our way through them. They bore down on us from every side. Ferocious women made flying dives on our shoulders and smothered us with kisses. I was drowned in a nightmare of babies. I signed my name at least a thousand times. Soldiers Came to Rescue. I have no idea either of us would have escaped alive, sick as we were, had we not been rescued by a squad of | those gallant men, the Belgian White ! Army, who broke through the crowd, pulled us into a cafe, and locked the doors. There we were taken in hand by a couple of “society ladies.’’ At least that is what they said they were. The one who took me in hand was a neurotic. She slept In an air-raid shelter each night. I had to escort her there, with a half dozen White Army guards, after the mob outside had given up hope of smashing through the cafe doors and retired to their homes for the night, Denny and I Anally were safely be hind the thick walls of the Svede Ho tel after dinner at a swanky restaurant run by a fellow who is a member of the International Restaurateurs’ As j sociation and who proudly displayed a | picture of himself standing close to I the late Calvin Coolidge. The picture i was taken on some occasion when a ! convention of restaurateurs had been i received at the- White House. | One objective of the present German | counterattack, I gather from the pa pers. is Liege. If Gen. Gerd von Run stedt's divisions succeed in reaching their objective the tactical importance may be considerable in delaying Allied operations. Hostages Chopped to Bits. But somehow or other what worries me worse is the vengeance which the returning krauts may inAict on the dirty-faced babies I kissed, the girls who kissed me, the neurotic woman who spent every night in an air-raid shelter, the brave men of the White Army. For a few minutes after we crawled over the bridge, I null admit, we would have welcomed any rescuers, even the krauts. But I can’t help remember a littla town not far from Liege where they shot 14 hostages and then chopped their bodies to bits with axes. We ar rived when the poor villagers were piecing together the fragments of the corpses of their dead. I hate to think of Liege, after the welcome its people gave us. If the Jerries come back. An Editor Gets the Blues Prom the Victoria Colonist. Urbanitis is a dimly recognized dis ease. which appears to be throttling the world little by little by the metamor phosis of natural human values into me chanical and artificial ones. Thus jazz becomes music, blurbs become art, bosh becomes poetry and walking two blocks is called exercise. In some lands the disease has spread far. Night has be come day, noise has replaced silence and billboards exhort humanity to do every thing under the sun except think. Symbols of Christmas Lest all our treasured symbols should be tossed Into the flames of war, tenaciously We cling to candle, wreath and spar kling tree And star above old pastures, pale with frost. But though the outer emblems all be lost— Those myriad gifts that traverse land and sea, The season’s dear, familiar pageantry— Something will still survive the holo caust: Something of spirit, indefinable And deathless. Though a thousand armies die, A dream forespoken at the Savior's birth Awaits the kingdom of good will on earth When peace shall blossom, pure and beautiful, Above the dark soil of the years gone by. INEZ BARCLAY KIRBY.