Located in Golden Gate Park, the National AIDS Memorial Grove is a testament to love and grief. According to the website:
The National AIDS Memorial Grove, located in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, is a dedicated space in the national landscape where millions of Americans touched directly or indirectly by AIDS can gather to heal, hope, and remember. For all the promising prospects on the horizon, AIDS continues to invade our lives, violate our past, and rob us of our comfortable assumptions about the future. The sacred ground of this living memorial honors all who have confronted this tragic pandemic both those who have died and those who have shared their struggle, kept the vigils, and supported each other during the final hours.
The National AIDS Memorial Grove came from an idea in 1988. Isabel Wade and Nancy McNally wanted to create a place to provide a positive way to express their grief. Ground was broken in 1991 and it has been an ongoing work of love and remembrance. In 1996 President Clinton approved the National AIDS Memorial Grove Act. According to the website:
This official designation as the National AIDS Memorial Grove, a status comparable to that of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Mount Rushmore, and the USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor, proclaims to the world that there is now a dedicated space in the national public landscape where anyone who has been touched by AIDS can grieve openly without being stigmatized, can find comfort among others whose lives have been affected by AIDS and HIV, and can experience the feelings of renewal and hope inherent in nature.
The Grove is peaceful and lovely. Here are a few of photos. They don’t really do it justice.
The Grove is a symbol that those who perished from AIDS and those who loved them are not forgotten. It’s also a reminder that the battle to find a cure isn’t over either.