Kentucky: Ceremony Remembers Those Who Died of AIDS
May 17, 2004
As thousands of communities worldwide held events as part of Sunday's 21st International AIDS Candlelight Memorial -- billed as the world's largest and oldest annual grassroots HIV/AIDS event -- a ceremony dedicating three panels to the national AIDS Memorial Quilt was held at the Victor Jory Theatre at Actors Theatre of Louisville. The panels were dedicated at a ceremony organized by the AIDS Project, a Louisville nonprofit group, to honor people whose lives have been lost or compromised by AIDS and to show support for their families.Adapted from:
"It's a beautiful way to reflect on people's lives and the memories that you have with them," said Kimberly Smith, executive director of AIDS Project and founder of the Louisville event. Smith made one of the three panels for her friend Wanda, whose last name was not disclosed. Friends and family of Mark Schneider and Larry Reynolds were also in attendance. The panel for Schneider, a former Louisville resident who died about 10 years ago, was filled with kitschy items reflecting his love of pop culture. "It's just wonderful," said his mother, Judy Geier. "I think he helped from above." The colorful quilt panel for Larry Reynolds represented the rainbow of his life, said sister Lula Reynolds. Wanda's panel included puppy paws symbolizing her love of animals, and interlocking paper-doll cutouts representing her supportive friends.
The event, which attracted about 100 people, featured songs and poetry as well as calls urging state and federal governments to devote more money to vital AIDS services. "If we all kind of united and came together, then we'd be [able] to not only prevent new cases but really support and take care of people who are still alive with this disease," added Smith.
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This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.