Sunday, December 21, 2014

Weekly News & Agenda for Tuesday, 12/23/14

1. AGENDA FOR TUESDAY, 12/23/14:

We still meet during Christmas Week and New Year's Week, but we keep the agenda open those weeks.  Come join us for some coffee, conversation, comaraderie, and good networking.

0700-0715: Introductions. 

0715-0800: Networking Assistance & Open Forum Discussion.  We'll help you with advice, assistance, referrals, or other specific networking help. Join us for interesting discussion, good camaraderie, and helpful networking.


12/23/14 (this week): Open Forum/Networking - see above.

12/30/14: Open Forum/Networking. We still meet during the holiday weeks, but we'll keep the agenda open.

1/6/15:  Annual White Elephant Gift Exchange.

If there's a speaker you'd like to schedule for a Tuesday morning in January or beyond, please send me a note at

3.  THE CHRISTMAS TRUCE OF 1914 -- 100 Year Anniversary:

Many of you know this story, but it's worth noting that this year we mark its 100-year anniversary.  The info below is adapted from several sources.

World War I began in the summer of 1914, with some leaders on both sides believing it’d be over by Christmas.  Strange how that notion prevails in the early days of so many major conflicts.  This one would continue for 4 more years, with millions of lives lost in battles that some would later describe as apocalyptic.   

By Christmas of that first year, fighting along the Western Front had already devolved into brutal trench warfare.  But on Christmas Eve, somewhere along that 500-mile front, the firing from the German trenches suddenly stopped.  Then the British stopped their firing as well, and all was quiet.  The Germans began singing Christmas carols while they decorated their trenches.  The British heard this and responded with their own singing. 

One version of what happened next involves a German soldier emerging from his trench, armed only with a bottle of wine, inviting the British to come over.  Regardless of who made the first move, soldiers from both sides soon came out of their trenches to meet in no-man’s land.  This spread along a significant portion of the front – it’s believed as many as 100,000 soldiers participated 

The spontaneous Christmas truce lasted the entire day.  German and British soldiers met to shake hands and exchange Christmas greetings, cigarettes, schnapps, uniform buttons, and even names and addresses.  Some brought makeshift Christmas trees from the trenches.  The Germans shared beer and the Royal Welsh Fusiliers shared tins of beef and jam.  According to some accounts there were even soccer matches that day in no-man’s land. 

By the end of the day the sides had returned to their trenches.  At that point, in one sector, a German officer and British officer faced each other from the top of their own trenches.  The two bowed, saluted, and went back into their trenches.  A few minutes later, shots were fired into the air, signifying the end of the truce.   The war was on again.  

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Joe Paniccia (USMA '84)
Service Academy BizNet of Denver meets weekly on Tuesdays at 0700, in the Marriott Hotel at the Denver Tech Center. From I-25, exit Belleview east, then turn north onto Syracuse Street. The Marriott lots are paid parking (approx $2-4), however you can park for FREE across the street at Garcia's Restaurant (we have their permission). Look for us in the seating area inside the Marriott's coffee shop. RSVP is not required. Dress is casual. Attendance is open to graduates of the federal service academies (USAFA, USCGA, USMA, USMMA, USNA). There are no dues or fees. Our schedule, roster and other information are posted at

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