This Christmas, we stopped at Gettysburg on our way to see family. I recently read the story behind “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” by Henry Wordsworth Longfellow. His son Charles had signed with Union in the Civil War against his wishes. After the death of his wife and hearing of Charles being severely injured he wrote,
“Till ringing singing on its way,
the world revolved from night until day.
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime.
Of peace on earth, goodwill toward men!
Then from each black, accursed mouth
cannons thundered from the south.
And with the sound the carols drowned
Of peace on earth good will toward men!
It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn
the households born,
Of peace on earth, goodwill towards men!
And in despair I bowed my head, “There is no peace on earth” I said;
“For hate is strong and mocks the song,
Of peace on earth, goodwill toward men!”
Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth he sleep;
The Wrong shall fail
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, goodwill toward men!”
We hope you have a peaceful Christmas season!