Keen students of history know well the significance of this day. Europeans cannot forget it.
A century ago, Archdue Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, was assassinated by Serb nationalist Gavrilo Princip.
This act - which can only be called terrorism - plunged the continent (and world) into a series of wars that continue to this day.
World War I ended the optimism of the Edwardian era, when men were rational, society orderly and the West still had confidence in its faith and mission.
Much has been written about that fateful day and its aftermath, but what I wish to emphasize here is that none of the consequences were imagined by those in power at the time. Events seemd to take their own course, despite the efforts of the best and brightest to direct them.
Like a hot summer afternoon, the air was charged with energy and needed only the slightest movement to unleash the storm.
The air feels the same today. The United States is an uneasy and unwilling hegemon, eager to lay aside its burdens but unwilling to let anyone else take them up.
We lecture Iraqis on accommodation while launching search and destroy missions on domestic political opponents; we preach peace and the virtues of international law while using remotely piloted aircraft to kill our percieved enemies in secrecy; we proclaim our loyalty to our allies while diminishing our means to help them.
Our rivals are beset by their own problems, but just as in all other things, one not need be perfect to win a contest, just better than the other guy.
The U.S. has immense reserves of strength, but now lacks the will and intellect to use them.
That is why those who claim that the Obama Administration purposefully "lost" Iraq are wrong. Remember, this is the administration that gave then-British Prime Minister Gordon Brown a gift of DVDs that would not work on his player.
If they can't succesfully buy European-coded DVDs on Amazon there is no reason to believe his people could successfully negotiate the Status of Forces Agreement with Iraq.
Had this been a nefarious plot-within-a-plot, I would feel better. At least I could sleep secure in the knowledge that America is run by an evil genius. Backed into a corner with the national survival at stake, he would do what was necessary.
But that is not what we have. Backed into the corner with national survival at stake, he will play golf and hold a news conference announcing a new hashtag.
Our enemies know this. Our allies know this.
So history will repeat, with a new comic cast of characters replacing the austere, historical ones.
On that happy note, enjoy your weekend.