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National AIDS Memorial solicits remembrances for World AIDS Day observance
National AIDS Memorial solicits remembrances for World AIDS Day observance
In the twenty-five years since AIDS was first identified, the presence of this pandemic has figured greatly in the lives of countless Americans and their counterparts all over the globe. Stories of their own struggles or those of their relatives and friends make up the often chilling, yet undoubtedly compelling portrait of the impact of AIDS on the lives of these ordinary people.

To commemorate this year's World AIDS Day observance at the National AIDS Memorial in San Francisco, the Memorial's Board of Directors is asking the public for personal testimonies, remembrances, and reflections on the sweeping effects of the AIDS legacy. The remembrance theme, "AIDS at 25," asks that people identify a single year during this period and explain how the pandemic affected them.

Jack Porter, co-chair of the Memorial's 13th annual World AIDS Day observance, describes the Board's expectations as broad.

"This could be a recollection of your own or a loved one's experiences in dealing with AIDS, or remembering the wide swath the disease made in those early years when there were no medications," said Porter. "Or it could be related to learning of your own diagnosis or that of a loved one in the last couple years; a visit to an AIDS-stricken African village; or a poignant moment in your work with a client of an AIDS service agency."

This year's observance will be held Friday, December 1st, at the Memorial in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. The goal of the commemoration is to bring people together to remember and honor the many lives lost to AIDS, the people still fighting to survive, the many caregivers, and those working to find new treatments and cures for the disease that takes 8,000 lives worldwide every day.

Porter said that some of the submitted stories will be selected to be read during the gathering on World AIDS Day, and all will be posted on the National AIDS Memorial's website, www.aidsmemorial.org.

"Submissions do not have to be letter-perfect, but a telling from the heart," Porter said. "These stories and comments will provide all of us with a meaningful and historical record of the personal impact of the disease this past twenty-five years."

The National AIDS Memorial is a living tribute to all whose lives have been touched by AIDS. It is set in a seven-acre dell where people gather to heal, hope, and remember. The National AIDS Memorial Grove Act of 1996 bestowed national significance upon the memorial, which began as a grassroots effort by local residents searching for a positive way to express grief in a community devastated by AIDS. The Grove is the only federally designated AIDS Memorial in the United States.

Please send your stories by September 15, 2006. Send them to National AIDS Memorial, 856 Stanyan Street, San Francisco, CA 94117; or, e-mail mystory@aidsmemorial.org.



A National AIDS Memorial press release

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