It’s Christmas Eve, 1944, in the midst of a raging blizzard…and the throes of a battle that is expected to become the last major assault of WWII, the Battle of the Bulge. A small patrol of battle-fatigued American soldiers, who have captured a German SS officer to interrogate, are lost and seek refuge in a bombed-out church somewhere south of Bastogne, Belgium.
Although united in brotherhood through the danger they face, the men are very different; from the tough but well-respected first sergeant career NCO, to the humorous and entertaining private, to the youngest soldier, a teenager, who does not believe in religion. Unbeknownst to the soldiers, the captured German major speaks English and has his own history.
Amidst great tension and life-threatening danger, this band still manages to celebrate Christmas Eve. The stirring climax dramatizes how God, in epic fashion, answers one GI’s prayer for the lost patrol.
There is no violence in this performance. There is love for our fellow man. There is love for our enemy. There is even love enough for a miracle.
The setting is based on historical events surrounding the 101st Airborne Division at the Battle of the Bulge, which inspired the miraculous ending that is sure to be enjoyed and remembered. Approximately 45 minutes.
With M. Glen Bullard
What inspired you to write this play?
I wanted to give an example how God is able to make a way when it seems there is no way. To those who may be feeling overwhelmed or feel a sense of hopelessness in their present situation, it is for them I wrote this play.
What's your favorite part or line in the play? Why?
At the end of the final scene when Dutch, in his prayer thanking God, confesses the source of his pain, that of missing his friend. So many of our service men and women struggle with PTSD, feeling they can best move on by suppressing their hurt, instead of locating the source and giving it to God.
Where did the characters come from? Are they based on people you know?
Some of the characters are inspired by people I once knew, or were told about. From a very early age I never missed an opportunity to talk with a WW2 veteran about his experiences. My grandfather was a 1st Lieutenant during WW1. My uncle was a Captain during WW2 with the 3rd Army under Gen Patten. Both survived to tell their stories.
I worked with the 160th Special Operation Aviation group at Fort Campbell for 7 years and in that time I heard and shared many stories from those I was so fortunate to work with. Their experiences, sacrifices, and sense of duty remain with me still.
What did you try to achieve with this play?
I wanted to carry the audience away to another time and, place where they would feel immersed in friendship, hope, and love; even in the mist of war.
Do you have anything else you'd like to add?
The feelings of hope, warmth, and joy conveyed in this play, mixed and served with a little humor, will be remembered long after the final curtain.