On the 24th of December, I was in the fourth platoon on a hill where the ridge line went straight to the enemy positions. We were so close we could see them walking in their trenches.
When the sun started to set, it began to snow. Just before midnight, I heard Christmas music from the other side. I thought, as an 18-year-old, that the music was brought up somehow by the American Army. I felt sad and nearly cried.
Then the music stopped and a voice said, “This is the Chinese communist army and we invite you to surrender.”
The speaker told us how we would get a hot meal and read letters from prisoners of war. Meanwhile, a voice from the foxhole next to me said, “Pass the word, get the artillery.”
So I told the soldier in the next foxhole the same thing. It did not take long.
Soon the shells were flying over our heads toward where the sound was coming from.
When morning came and the fog lifted down in the valley, near the bottom of the hill was a ring of bodies around a speaker stand. Christmas Day, 1951.