Flowers lined Santa Monica Boulevard for World AIDS Day on Tuesday to honor both those who are living with HIV/AIDS and those who died from the disease.
The flowers – primarily roses or sunflowers – were placed beside each of the small bronze plaques in the sidewalk in front of the trees that line both sides of Santa Monica Boulevard from Fairfax Avenue to Doheny Drive.
These plaques are known as the West Hollywood Memorial Walk, which dates back to the 1990s. Each of the plaques contains a name or names of people who died from HIV/AIDS.
The flowers were courtesy of Empty Vase florist and placed there by the Alliance for Housing and Healing, the group that oversees the Memorial Walk.
Each flower was attached to a flyer which read, “World AIDS Day. The plaques that line Santa Monica Boulevard are known as the West Hollywood Memorial Walk. They are a tribute to those we have lost and a commitment to improve the quality of life for people living with HIV/AIDS.”
The Alliance for Housing and Healing provides the basic necessities of life – food and shelter – to people struggling with poverty, homelessness and HIV/AIDS in Los Angeles County.
The Alliance was created in 2009 by the merger of two AIDS service agencies that were founded in the 1980s – Aid for AIDS, which provided emergency funds to cover rent and utilities of people with AIDS, and the Sierra Project, which helped people left homeless by HIV/AIDS.
The Alliance’s motto is “Health Happens with Housing.”
On the boulevard, I saw one of the local homeless collecting the flowers in the evening to make a bouquet for himself. They were put to good use all day yesterday.
When I think about all the lives tragically cut short or impacted by AIDS, my daily quibbles even in the Covid era fade away and I am left with gratitude, and appreciation for my thriving, positive, friends.