To honor the more than 700,000 lives lost to AIDS during the past four decades, the National AIDS Memorial is hosting a virtual ceremony June 5, and is inviting the public to join them.

The ceremony will take place at National AIDS Memorial Grove, a park in San Francisco, California from 12-6 p.m. Those who are interested in watching can visit aidsmemorial.org when it begins at 2:30 p.m. PT/5:30 p.m. ET.

Leaders from the AIDS movement will lay a wreath where the names of thousands of lives lost to AIDS are engraved. Invited dignitaries and special guests such as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and San Francisco Mayor London Breed will share stories of remembrance and activism, surrounded by the beauty of the Grove and the AIDS Memorial Quilt.

The Forty Blocks of The Quilt will be on display — the largest display of The Quilt in nearly two years.

June 5 is also HIV Long-Term Survivors Awareness Day, and marks 40 years since the first cases of AIDS were reported by the federal government.

There will be artistic performances as well, including members from the Messengers of Hope Gospel Choir and a spoken word poetry reading. The ceremony will conclude with a Reading of Names of loved ones lost to AIDS.

The public will be invited to stroll through the National AIDS Memorial Grove to see the names engraved and leave personal tributes on AIDS Quilt signature panels of loved ones lost to AIDS.

COVID-19 protocols are in place with all visitors required to wear masks and social distance.  Limited capacity/timed entry through the main entrance only. Public sign-up is available at www.aidsmemorial.org.

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