It’s interesting how we mark things with centuries.
One hundred years ago today, something happened. Something people thought would be over fairly quickly. Something that changed the world in more ways than one can list. It resulted in a continent torn apart, millions of people dead, huge shifts in power, and changes and advancements in technologies. It helped cause an economic boom here in the US and an economic downturn in Europe. It ended with a new emerging nation, the Soviet Union, and it ended the Ottoman Empire. We went from volley fire using rifles to mass production of machine guns. We went from aircraft being a new, unstable technology, to something which we could count on and use in many ways. X-Ray imaging technology came from it.
It began with old powers clashing. It really began long before a century ago today. It began in the 19th century, or, if you really want to think deeply, in the 18th century. It was something that was coming for a very, very long time. Old, powerful nations with large armies and this brand new thing: industrialization.
We learned to wage war on an entirely different scale. You could no longer use the bayonet. Now, we used poison gas and artillery. No longer did armies have to march everywhere. Instead they could ride trains or in trucks. War came at a much greater speed, with much greater cost.
Yet this was so long ago. So far away. Something we hardly know anymore. Something that will never happen again. The War to End All Wars. The Great War. The World War.
The First….World War.
A century is not all that long.
One hundred years may seem like a very long time. It’s difficult for one human to live that long. But cultures and societies last much longer. And they have memories, too. They get passed down, generation to generation. Rivalries, enemies, prejudices, hatred, greed, jealousy….love, loyalty, favorites, and many other things, are passed down as well.
One hundred years is not very long. Many things are still there. Many rivalries can flare up, and result in things like what happened 100 years ago today.
So sit this evening, and look back at what you see in the world around you. The world changes every day.
Just sit and watch. And try to pick out the days that people will be remembering in 100 years or so.
You will probably find quite a few.