The wedding

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My parents got married in Zagreb (Croatia) the 22nd November of 1943 in an almost empty church during a bombing.

My dad wrote in his diary how when they were approaching the altar an enthusiastic Franciscan played the organ. The solemn chords of Mendelssohn’s wedding march, were overcome now and then by the thunderous explosions of the bombs falling in the southern quarter of the city where several planes were trying to destroy a bridge. But they continued with the ceremony anyway, with the organ, the priest and only a few friends .

When they became husband and wife , they went to celebrate the event to a basement, the only place safe, because the bombing alarms were on high alert all the evening.

Their honeymoon was go running to the building where they had their apartment which had a big crack as a reminder of the last aerial attack, and climb in total darkness the stairs to the fifth floor . But they were happy. Finally they were going to live together and begin their own family.

The war and its aftermath were awful for them. with a forced separation of twelve years. Finally they met again , and began a new life together far away from home.

Fifty years after they celebrated they anniversary. Their children and friends organised a  Mass with a string quartet and a singer. The priest even had got a special written blessing from the Pope himself for them. The weather was gorgeous. All light and bright colours. People at the door of the church were cheering  them  and clapping.  And the only sound outside was the one of the bells chiming. They went to celebrate to a ballroom in a nearby hotel with dozens of friends. Fifty years later they had a proper celebration.

But in their heart was beating the excitement of that distant and heroic 22nd November 1943, fifty years before.

Fifty

Author: Olga Brajnović

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