Thursday, January 20, 2011

Remembering... Audrey Hepburn

Can it really be nearly two decades now since this light went out in the world? Amazingly, yes; it was on this day in 1993 that Audrey Hepburn died.

Audrey_HepburnUnlike so many others, though, who are glowingly eulogized just weeks before people's true feelings begin to emerge, there have been no attempts to assassinate the character of Audrey Hepburn in the years since her passing. The simple reason for this is that the actress and humanitarian imbued everyone she knew, everyone she met, and a considerable number of total strangers as well, with a magic that few of us - myself included - can hope to understand.

It was more than beauty, though she had that in abundance; it was kindness, a kindness born of the worst kind of cruelty. Having lived in Arnhem, on the front lines of the Nazi invasion, and then through the subsequent occupation of The Netherlands during World War II, having served that country's Resistance as a teenage courier despite considerable peril, when she later visited refugees on behalf of UNICEF - for which work she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom - she understood what their privation, their suffering, entailed first hand.

She won The Big Four, which feat alone would have made her a rare breed; she was a fashion icon who cared not a whit for clothes, a natural entertainer yet not needy, modest when she had every reason to brag... In short, she was a consummate human being, and her very existence gives us hope that we may someday see her like again.
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