Soccer enthusiasts from around the region paid homage to the World War I Christmas Truce on Monday by participating in the fourth annual Truce Tournament hosted by Sporting Club, the National World War I Museum and Memorial and The Soccer Lot.
Approximately 150 participants from 26 teams in the area competed in a 3v3 soccer tournament, while hundreds of additional soccer fans attended the English Premier League Boxing Day Watch Party on large screens inside the National World War I Museum and Memorial. The Millennium Pilots from Kanas City (pictured, above), eventually claimed the Truce Tournament title in the competition league by defeating Barilleros 6-3 in the championship match. In the recreation league, Bourbon & Ice Cream with players from Kansas City, Jamaica and England, topped Poor Blighters 5-3 to claim the title.
"The National World War I Museum and Memorial is one of the great institutions of our city and we are thrilled to partner with them once again for the Truce Tournament," said Sporting Kansas City President Jake Reid. "Teams from all over the region travel to Kansas City for the annual tournament that shines a spotlight on an important piece of world history. We look forward to continuing this tradition for many years to come."
The Truce Tournament is a tribute to the Christmas Truce of 1914 in which the battles of World War I on the Western and Eastern Fronts temporarily subsided. Members of both sides laid down their arms in a time of war to celebrate a day of peace by venturing out to “No Man's Land” to exchange gifts, sing carols and play soccer.
“The Christmas Truce was a remarkable event during the world’s first truly global conflict,” said National World War I Museum and Memorial President & CEO Dr. Matthew Naylor. “There are substantial lessons to be learned from those soldiers who displayed an unbelievable amount of humanity in the midst of horrific warfare and the Truce Tournament allows us to recognize and understand how the Great War continues to effect the global community to this day.”
In addition to Sporting Club, the National World War I Museum and Memorial and The Soccer Lot, event sponsors include Ivy Investments, Central States Beverages, the Neighborhood Tourist Development Fund of Kansas City, Missouri, The Roasterie, Sports Radio 810 AM and Up/Down KC. Proceeds from the event will benefit The Victory Project in its mission to help kids thrive through life’s challenges as well as the National World War I Museum and Memorial.