Key West’s AIDS Memorial
The White Street AIDS Memorial was dedicated on World AIDS Day, December 1, 1997. It was built with private funds and then donated to the City of Key West and maintained as a park. At the time of dedication, 730 names were included in random order. In succeeding years, additional names have been added. Key West, with a population of about 25,000 residents, has been especially hard-hit by the AIDS plague. There are now more than 1,000 names engraved on the Memorial.
The Key West AIDS Memorial is a tribute to the people who have died of AIDS, their names are inscribed on flat granite monuments which are embedded in the walkway approaching White Street Pier at the Atlantic Ocean. The real tragedy is the individual saga behind every single name on this list, the suffering to each person, their friends, and their families each had to endure. The White Street memorial has a capacity to commemorate over 1,500 souls. Additional names will be engraved yearly, and dedicated on World AIDS Day, December 1st. I encouraged you to visit the memorial, it’s designed as a quiet peaceful resting area overlooking the splendor of the Atlantic Ocean. Along with the list of names engraved in granite, three poems are also set in stone.