Universalist Unitarian Church of Haverhill Displays AIDS Memorial Quilt for World AIDS Day

The AIDS Memorial Quilt panels being displayed at the Universalist Unitarian Church (Courtesy Photograph.)

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Five panels from the AIDS Memorial Quilt are being presented by the Universalist Unitarian Church of Haverhill this weekend in honor of World AIDS Day today.

While planning a march in 1985, gay rights activist Cleve Jones asked his fellow marchers to write the names of friends and loved ones who had died of AIDS on placards. They stood on ladders and taped the placards to the walls of the San Francisco Federal Building, creating the look of a patchwork quilt. Inspired, construction began on a larger memorial in 1987 which served as the foundation of the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt. The project aimed to honor those who died of AIDS and help the public understand the devastating impact of the disease.

Now, the quilt has grown to more than 50,000 panels, with more than 110,000 names stitched into its fabric. It weighs 54 tons, stretches more than 50 miles in length and is the largest community-arts project in the world. The quilt maybe viewed in its entirety at the National AIDS Memorial or online at aidsmemorial.org/quilt.

The panels’ display begins today, Dec. 1, from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., continues through Friday, Dec. 2, and Saturday, Dec. 3, by appointment from 11 a.m.-5 p.m., and ends on Sunday, Dec. 4, at Sunday worship, at 10:30 a.m. Universalist Unitarian Church of Haverhill is located at 16 Ashland St., Haverhill.

For an appointment, contact Hailey Moschella at [email protected]. The display is free and open to the public, though donations are accepted and benefit the mission and work of the National AIDS Memorial.

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