The war that was so awful it was supposed to end war started 100 years ago this week. It was July 28, 1914, that war was declared, one month following the assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand while visiting the Bosnian capital, Sarajevo. It was a horrible war. It was known as The Great War or The World War until 1939 when another war surpassed it as the Second World War.
Watching the news the past months reminds us that if World War I was supposed to make wars unthinkable, it failed. So did modern communications, mutually assured destruction or worse and worse horrors. Today it's the Ukraine or Gaza or Syria. It has been other places. It will be still other places.
Again we are reminded that it isn't the soldiers who are the only ones killed. A civilian airliner is shot down in a show of bravado gone wrong. Children and civilians in close quarters the main losses in Gaza. On and on and on it goes.
As Pete Seeger sang in Where Have All the Flowers Gone:
When will we ever learn?Or in the timelss words of Bob Dylan:
Yes, how many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky ?
Yes, how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry ?
Yes, how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died ?
The answer my friend is blowin' in the wind
The answer is blowin' in the wind.