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Quilt holds memory of Christmas truce during WWI | News

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Quilt holds memory of Christmas truce during WWI

LAS VEGAS -- A Las Vegas man has kept a blanket of love dating back almost 100 Christmases ago.

Don Irish's is an Air Force veteran who has a connection to his family and a prevalent time in history that would impress many.

“Look at the incredible work she did on this quilt,” Irish said as he looked at his mother's stitch work. “She covered the infantry, the bugler, the ambulance corps and the coastal artillery.”

Irish's mother and father met in Kansas City when artillery men like his father would visit while on leave from Fort Sill. He said when his father was shipped out to France to fight under the command of Harry S. Truman in World War I, his mother started stitching the quilt as a present.

“My mother said she hated seeing her loved one go to war,” Irish said.

All of the men in Irish's family served in the military. But in World War I something happened that has never been repeated in the history of modern warfare.

On December 25, 1914, instead of the sound of gun shots, the sound of Christmas carols rose from the German trenches, floating across the frigid air and blood soaked fields.

Soldiers who had been killing each other for months met in the narrow divide and called a truce for the Christmas holiday, according to soldier journals from the past. The journals went on to show while the fighting continued elsewhere; there wasn't a single shot fired in that section of northern France.

Irish said he's heard stories of how enemies shook hands and even exchanged gifts that day, and for a moment there was peace.

“I think it was a reality check,” Irish said.

He said the quilt reminds him of love even during a time when there's war. It's something he hopes people will never forget.

Irish plans to donate his quilt to the World War I Liberty Memorial in Kansas City. He said he wants the story to live on when he's no longer around to tell it.