Every December 1st since 1988 has been marked as World AIDS Day, but this year’s commemoration of those lost to and living with HIV and AIDS is a particularly special one for the Village. Twenty-eight years after the day was first marked, today we saw the dedication of the new AIDS Memorial and the NYC AIDS Memorial Park at St. Vincent’s Triangle, bounded by 7th Avenue, Greenwich Avenue, and West 12th Street, in the West Village.
Today’s celebration brought a wide range of speakers and performers, including Councilmember Corey Johnson, as well as ACT UP and the Gay Men’s Chorus. Each one highlighted the importance of New York City in the fight against HIV/AIDS, particularly how the former St. Vincent’s Hospital was the epicenter of the crisis. Each speaker reminded the audience of how far NYC has come in the fight against HIV/AIDS and the state’s goals for an HIV free New York by 2020. Especially in our current political climate, there are still battles to be fought in this struggle, and now more than ever we can’t let the clock turn back on the gains we have made in the last three decades. The newly erected memorial serves as a monument both for this fight and the importance the Village has played in it.
You can see more photos from today’s event here.