My dad was around eleven or so years old when he was reading a book on World War I. He said something along the lines of what a cool-looking war with those uniforms, tanks, and planes. His grandfather became very upset and told him that it was a horrible war which destroyed Europe and created a living hell for its nations. My great-grandfather was born in Czernowitz, a city which proudly celebrated its European and Austro-Hungarian character. He lived through the mass warfare which ravaged the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and he also witnessed the terrible aftermath of nationalist and ethnic uprisings in Eastern Europe. Europe was never the same again. Despite being Jewish, this war disturbed and haunted him far more than even World War II and the Holocaust.
Today marks the 100th anniversary of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, Duchess Sophie, by Gavrilo Princip and the Black Hand in Sarajevo. This is the event that set Europe ablaze, triggering the war.
The Washington Post has an interesting article showing how it and the New York Times covered the event back in 1914. Check it out.