There seems to be a great many anniversary moments in this year of 2015, one of which is the 50th anniversary of the movie "The Sound of Music". I just finished watching Diane Sawyer this evening interview Julie Andrews, the star of the movie, and visit many of the places in Austria where the film was shot and the story took place. "The Sound of Music" is so much a part of the fabric of our time, and the music is so well known, that it has become iconic. I enjoyed the program on ABC.
I first saw the movie in 1965 or 1966 at an old and beautiful theater in Cincinnati, Ohio, when I was in college seminary at Saint Pius X in Erlanger, Kentucky. I remember that the theater was ornate and a perfect setting for the movie. I have watched it on TV many times, and I can pick up on the songs in a heartbeat.
I also had the privilege of meeting the real Maria von Trapp years ago at a special event that the Charismatic Prayer groups of the Diocese of Greensburg sponsored at a local family amusement park in the area - Idlewild Park. We had arranged to have Maria speak to those who gathered on that Sunday afternoon. We advertised and had a huge crowd join us. The highlight of the day was a Mass that I celebrated at the main pavilion at the park, followed by a brief few words from Maria about family and faith. She was very gracious, and the gathering was a great and exciting celebration of God's love. My life has been so blessed with moments like this, for which I am eternally grateful.
Another anniversary that I read about recently is the death in March of 1945 of Anne Frank in one of the camps. Soon after her death saw the publishing of her diary originally entitled "The Diary of a Young Girl" that I read long ago as a young boy. It was later known as "The Diary of Anne Frank", and is the powerful telling of her story of struggle and courage, of hiding and fear at the time of the Nazi persecution of the Jews. That diary that Anne Frank kept was written just over 70 years ago, and is inspiring, to say the least. That, and other stories of courage that come to us from such a dark period in society's life, are important to keep before us so that we do not forget "man's inhumanity to man".