Living Memorial

It began as a simple remembrance of those who have succumbed to the deadly disease. But the AIDS Memorial Quilt, unfolded in its entirety near the Washington Monument over Columbus Day, has become a vast and stirring memorial to HIV victims. Started in 1987 by the San Francisco-based Names Project, the quilt stretches over 15 acres. It contains 21,000 decorated panels from 29 countries, each bearing the name of an individual who died of AIDS. Altogether it represents 2% of all AIDS victims. Total worldwide deaths from the disease: 501,272, more than a third of them in the U.S.

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