Today marks the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I. Much in our world has changed since then.
Today, most people, in our part of the world at least, have their own car to travel for business or pleasure. Air travel to the far corners of the globe has become standard. Man has landed on the moon. Vaccines have been developed to combat deadly diseases, even while new diseases are discovered that terrify us. Televisions are commonplace in most homes. Most people own computers, and those computers can fit inside a pocket. Nations that were enemies during the War have become allies, and countries that were allies out of necessity have become true friends, even while new enemies have been discovered. Queen Elizabeth II, who could, in a short time, become Britain’s longest reigning monarch, wasn’t even born yet. Her grandfather, King George V, was praying for the safe return from battle of his second son, the then Prince Albert, Queen Elizabeth’s father. Even the geography of the world has changed…there are new names and borders for many countries, and yet the people who inhabit them haven’t changed.
But much remains the same. We still turn to family for love and support in good times and bad. There are still fears and triumphs, joys and sorrows. Music still reflects our emotions, and we still look for a good story to entertain us and transport us to a new place. There are conflicts around the world over trivial and not-so-trivial matters. We have the potential to show great mercy, or to be cruel and unforgiving. We are always looking to discover new things. There is always childbirth, death, and, of course, taxes.
And the Cubs still haven’t won the World Series.
Yes, much has changed since the beginning of World War I. But, as the saying goes, the more things change, the more they stay the same, which is why we must never forget, lest we make the same mistakes again.