100 years ago today Germany invaded Belgium.
In a sane world that would have been the end of the matter.
But Germany was invading Belgium to attack France, because they felt they needed to knock over France before fighting Russia.
They wanted to fight Russia because Russia was supporting Serbia against the Austrians.
The Austrians were angry with the Serbians because a Bosnian had assassinated an Archduke in Sarajevo.
Britain declared war in defence of Belgium and before we knew it half a million Australians were in uniform fighting a crazed war in Europe.
58,961 of them would die, equivalent to the whole of Wagga, a whole percentile of the population at the time. 166,811 were wounded.
A promising century was plunged into a cycle of violence and retribution on an industrial scale.
100 years ago today.
The War Memorial has created this video on the first day of the war.
The Australian War Memorial will mark 100 years since the declaration of the First World War with a significant Last Post Ceremony, on Monday, August 4, at 4.45pm.
Ambassadors and high commissioners will attend this special event and will all lay wreaths in unison around the Pool of Reflection as a message of international peace and unity.
In this morning’s sub-zero temperatures, I got up in the dark to photograph the strikingly lit memorials that line Anzac Parade here in Canberra, they are well worth a visit.