It is 2006. | The Red Square.
It is December, 2006.
We are in Moscow to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the birth of Russian hockey and the 25th anniversary of the formation of the great Soviet five-man unit consisting of my Father, Sergei Makarov, Vladimir Krutov, Slava Fetisov and Alexei Kasatonov.
Here is the five-man unit in 1981.
Here is the five-man unit in 2006.
HERE'S WHAT I KNOW:
My sister and I are commemorating those who have passed away and those who were instrumental in the foundation of the game. Because of this, we choose to sing 'Ave Maria'. We prefer Celine Dion's rendition so that is what we perform. We are both nervous although we've done this one hundred times before. This feels different. This feels like an enormous emotional responsibility, one which we cannot fully comprehend.
The evening before our performance, we are granted permission to skate.
This is my favorite picture of my brother, Igor. He is 8 years old.
And this is me with my Uncle Fil. He is my Mother's step-brother. He is two years older than me. He, too, played hockey in the Dynamo Moscow Hockey Club.
Yes, my nylon game is a disaster.
Leading up to our performance, I think about the times I've been to Red Square in the past.
One such time was the summer of 1997, when my father, Slava Fetisov and Slava Kozlov, brought the Stanley Cup to Moscow. (scroll)
This is what us kids are doing while our Father's stroll through the Red Square with the Stanley Cup. I am 10. Anastasia Fetisova is 6. My sister is 6. My Uncle is 12.
During this time, we take a family photo with the Stanley Cup in front of Lenin's Mausoleum.
Pictured: My Mother, Uncle Fil, me, Diana, Igor, and his brother Evgeni. Photographer: Slava Fetisov.
Not pictured: Lenin's embalmed body.
I know that unlike everyone else, I have a desire to walk into Lenin's tomb. I remember feeling cold once entering the dark, marble-laden room. I was told to walk quietly and swiftly. To respect his slumbered peace. I tried to walk as fast as I could but I was mesmerized by his seemingly shining face. Brightly lit, even. His eyes closed. His skin smooth. His profile almost ethereal. I remember feeling strange about this.
HERE'S WHAT I DON'T KNOW:
I don't realize the significance of the Red Square, let alone the two major events in my life which occurred in that very place. Because of this, as I age, I will compensate for my lack of knowledge by devouring anything and everything on Russian history.
In December, 2016, I will visit Moscow once again.
I will meet my aforementioned Godmother - you can read about her in It Is 1989 - as I walk out from the Bolshoi Theater. Overwhelmed by the years I haven't seen her and the emotional experience that was the Nutcracker Ballet, I will hug her. We will walk arm-in-arm from the Bolshoi Theater to Red Square, commenting on the beauty that is the city of Moscow.
We will take this picture in front of the State Historical Museum. It was founded in 1872.
As I look to the camera, I will notice that to my right is the Lenin Mausoleum. To my left is the department store GUM or ГУМ. In front of me is the very same square where my sister and I sang, Ave Maria, exactly ten years ago. In that moment, I will realize the significance of my country's history and I will vow to make a film about this one day.
Here is the history of Red Square in photographs (scroll).