2014 Holiday Message

Florida Guard Family:

One hundred years ago Pope Benedict XV asked for a temporary truce during The Great War in Europe so the combatant nations could celebrate Christmas. While the nations involved in the fighting refused an official truce, German and British troops declared their own “unofficial” cease-fire beginning on Christmas Eve 1914. Accounts tell of Allied and German soldiers climbing from their battlefield trenches, crossing the crater-scarred “no man’s land,” and greeting each other with carols, gifts and friendly gestures.

This famous story of the Christmas Truce of 1914 has continued to circulate over the past century, and many recount the incident as proof that the holiday spirit can assuage barbarity in even the most brutal of circumstances (there were more than 37 million casualties from World War I).

During this holiday season let’s remember the brief spark of peace and amity that flourished on that darkened battlefield. Let it serve as a reminder to pause in our own busy lives, and take time to focus on the important things in our lives – family, friends, our communities.

It is also an opportunity to reflect on the progress we have made as an organization over the past 12 months. Without the enduring spirit and unmatched professionalism of each one of you – Soldiers, Airmen, Civilians, Families, Retirees – the Florida National Guard would not have achieved the successes that we have earned.

To the men and women of the Florida National Guard family, Gretchen and I wish you a safe and happy holiday season, and ask that you continue to keep our nation’s deployed service members and their families in your thoughts and prayers.


Emmett R. Titshaw Jr.
Major General
Adjutant General of Florida