Keiran's World World by word by word

Long-ago gunshots continue to affect us today

Franz Ferdinand's motorcar, June 28 1914, Sarajevo

One century ago, a sound occurred that continues to ring today. The singular blast was neither broadcast nor recorded. Nevertheless, it echoes through all of our lives today—not as sound waves, but as long, slow swells through our social fabric.

When Bosnian student Gavrilo Princip fired his pistol in the crowded streets of Sarajevo and killed the heir to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire on June 28, 1914, the crack of his gunshots cracked the world apart.

Most people heard the resulting fault lines creak and quake only weeks and months later. By then, millions were dying across Europe, empires marched towards collapse, and the world was changing forever.

Few people were aware of the intricate treaties, ties and obligations that bound one European power to another then. Some of the informed few suspected this simple revolutionary act on the part of a hitherto-unknown student in a small, volatile corner of Europe would lead to war. However, none could have predicted the gunshots signalled a political, economic and social upheaval more widespread and more thorough than any French, American, Glorious or Quiet revolution.

Here in Victoria, we were pretty much oblivious….

Read the rest of this editorial at the Victoria Times Colonist….

Front page headlines, Daily Colonist, June 30 1914, Victoria, B.C.

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