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POW during Christmas

George Easton Brown (MSS 2350 no. 359) was a prisoner of war in Manchuria during the Christmas season of 1944.  He wrote the following about the experience:

It was Christmas Eve, and we could cut the gloom that engulfed us with a knife.  What a way to spend Christmas Eve.  One man by the name of Glen Pope was an excellent whistler, and he started to softly whistle “Silent Night.”  We could see tears in the eyes of some.  Bud Harmon began to sing, and after the first verse the entire crew joined in.  Heads came up, we looked at one another, and as a group, sang “Silent Night.”  The Japanese guards just stood and watched.  The atmosphere changed.  Some sobbed openly, but we all continued to sing.  And as the song ended, each man turned and wished the others a Merry Christmas.  We all stood and joined in a circle where I was asked to lead in prayer.  A humble Mormon prayer that the Lord heard and answered, assured us all that Jesus was the Christ, that He was the Savior of the world and was mindful of a few captured airmen in those cold cells in Manchuria.  We all came home to share the memories of Christmas Eve 1944 with our families.

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