World aids Day

December 1 marks World AIDS Day. 

I didn't remember until someone mentioned it on Twitter.

There was a time when I spent months & months preparing for World AIDS Day.  During college, I volunteered for The Names Project in Washington, DC, more commonly known for the AIDS Memorial Quilt.  I did silly things like seal newsletters & clean the office.  Also, I did meaningful things like repair  damaged panels, pack panels for displays across the country & assist with the display of the entire quilt on the National Mall.  In the months leading to World AIDS Day, I channeled my energies to the big day to increase awareness about AIDS, support those living with AIDS & remember those we lost to AIDS.  This volunteer job meant the world to me.

I remember my four years of volunteering with fondness & sadness.  It wasn't so long ago, yet things were much different then.  People were still dying of AIDS in America at an alarming rate.  I worked side-by-side with two gay men who were living with AIDS.  They had the brightest, biggest smiles & sweetest, kindest personalities.  One died during my volunteer years & the other died a few years later.  This world is a little less beautiful without them in it.

I graduated from college & despite a brief tenure volunteering for the New Jersey chapter, my time with The Names Project came to an end.  The pursuit of career & personal goals became my priority.  But never did I intend to forget this cause that is so important to me.  At the very least, I planned sport my red ribbon on every World AIDS Day.  Somehow I got from there to here.    

The college me couldn't envision a future me who would not remember World AIDS Day.

We have not accomplished the ultimate goal of a world without AIDS.  On World AIDS Day 2011, I make a vow to recommit.  Maybe it will be just a blog post now & then.  Maybe it will be just a red ribbon worn everyday.  Maybe I will get involved in a World AIDS Day event.  But no matter what, I will not forget we have a world with AIDS.

This is the final blog post for this week & I dedicate it in memory of Pedro & Chris.  You forever touched me & you're always remembered.

Image via World AIDS Day

1 comment:

  1. This is a beautiful post. I was listening to the Aids Quilt Songbook today, and it was such a moving experience.


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