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Editorial: A solemn anniversary

This summer will witness solemn commemorations of the passage of one century since the start of World War I. The war broke out in Europe in August 1914, and subsequently engulfed armies from other continents as well. The United States got in by 1917 and American soldiers were in the thick of the fighting at war’s end in 1918.

Four years of horror in the Great War swallowed up 16 million soldiers, devastated the European countryside, destroyed economies, and probably laid the seeds for World War II.

While the phrase is often attributed to America’s wartime president Woodrow Wilson, it was actually English author H. G. Wells who first called the Great War “the war to end wars.” A vain hope. Perhaps those words served to inspire the Allies in the trenches, but in the end they were as meaningless as most wars themselves prove to be. Nations continue to fight.

Because America got into the war late, its casualties were minimal compared to those of the European coun...

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