It’s said that those who cannot remember history are doomed to repeat it. Well, June 28 marks two historic anniversaries, both related to an event that we should pray we never repeat (yet the world repeated it just 20 years later.) It’s both the anniversary of the day in 1914 when a Serbian radical assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and his wife, setting off a chain of events that led to World War I, which officially ended on this same date in 1919, after five devastating years of destruction and casualties (about 10 million soldiers dead and nearly 8 million civilians). Many people then were naïve enough to call it “the war to end all wars.” As World War II Army cartoonist Bill Mauldin noted, if that was true, “then why did they give it a number?”
Since we are currently surrounded by hotheads who think the key to bringing about their vision of Utopia is violent action against their political opponents, maybe it’s time for a reminder of the chain of unintended, catastrophic consequences that can snowball when one idiot radical with a pistol decides to take state affairs into his own hands. There’s an excellent round-up of facts, quotes and videos about this date at this link.