Time is growing short for Diana, A Celebration, as it moves toward its final weeks at Union Station Kansas City. The months since the exhibition opened have been extraordinary in terms of the number of people who have passed through. At last count, more than 62,000 men, women and children had experienced this chronicle of the life and charitable work of the People’s Princess. Judging from the responses, it has touched many hearts, even among those individuals who expected to get nothing in particular from the experience.
It seems fitting that in the final days of the exhibition, the HeartAches ensemble from The Heartland Men’s Chorus should serenade visitors with Elton John’s famous “Candle in the Wind,” which he revised from its original version to honor the late princess after she died in an automobile accident on August 31, 1997.
The HeartAches’ performance will be in the Bank of America Gallery, outside the Diana exhibit at noon on Saturday, May 21. It will consist of a number of songs besides “Candle in the Wind” and serves as a tribute to Diana for her hard work in the fight against HIV/AIDS. In many ways, the princess was a leader in this struggle, breaking through misunderstanding and misconception not only through her words but also through bold action.
As much as anything, it seems to be Diana’s courage that attracts so many people to her, even so many years after her death. It was a courage made all the more admirable and fascinating because of her obvious vulnerability and self-doubt. In just the year before her death, she appeared to grow enormously as a person and to find her place in a world that seemed to attack and reject her as often as it poured out its love to her.
As the closing days of Diana, A Celebration draw nearer, it is appropriate to cite a few more comments from people who have visited the exhibition. They do more to reveal the emotions Diana arouses than anything else (comments edited for grammar, usage, spelling, etc.):
“Amazing! What beautiful exhibit for simply an amazing, beautiful, angelic and inspiring precious Young woman! Wow! Loved it!”
“The exhibit was thought-provoking, interesting, beautifully laid out and educational. I was impressed and did not expect to be.”
“The exhibit left ou feeling how lucky we were to have had her in our world and feeling inspired to do good works.”
“Wonderful exhibit of Diana’s dresses and other personal items. It was very moving to be so close to things that were part of her life.”
“I loved everything about the exhibition and wish that there had been more to see, but I realize that one can’t bring everything. Worth every dollar.”
Diana, A Celebration continues only through June 12, 2011. Tickets are available through all Ticketmaster outlets, the Union Station ticket office, the Sprint Center box office and www.unionstation.org.