After 30 years of discussions, proposals and two AIDS Memorial Task Forces, San Diego will join other cities across the country and all over the world and finally have an AIDS Memorial to remember the over 8,000 men, women and children who have died of AIDS in San Diego County.
A public meeting was held Monday night at St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral to discuss the process of selecting a design, which is open for anyone to submit. About 60 San Diegans attended the meeting and approximately 10 people spoke during the public comment section.
City Commissioner Nicole Murray Ramirez (the founder of the AIDS Memorial Project and co-chair of the current task force) opened the meeting with a brief history of the AIDS crisis in San Diego and the AIDS Memorial Project. Katherine Stuart Faulconer (first lady of San Diego and co-chair of the AIDS Task Force) also gave opening remarks on the project. Statements from State Assemblyman Todd Gloria and City Councilman Chris Ward were read supporting the AIDS Memorial and the final selection of the Olive Street Park location. A representative of the Bankers Hill Community Group spoke in opposition while a representative of another Bankers Hill organization, the Metro San Diego Community Development Corp. spoke in support of the location.
“Finally after over 30 years San Diego will have a visible public memorial remembering the over 8,000 San Diegans we have lost and recognizing the extraordinary heroic efforts of countless caregivers, activists and people living with. HIV/AIDS who have helped change the trajectory of this epidemic,” said Murray Ramirez.
Murray Ramirez also stated that the AIDS Memorial and the new Olive Street Park could be in place and dedicated by 2020.
Those interested in submitting designs should send them to: bit.ly/SDAIDSMemorial
For further information on the San Diego AIDS Memorial visit https://www.facebook.com/SDAIDSMemorial or call 619-241-5872.