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The Story Behind the National AIDS Memorial Grove in San Francisco

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A group of about fifty people stand in a circle holding hands in a brightly lit grassy area.
Every volunteer work day at the AIDS Memorial Grove ends with a healing circle where participants link hands and say the names of loved ones lost to AIDS. (Courtesy National AIDS Memorial)

The National AIDS Memorial Grove in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park is the nation’s first and only federally designated memorial of those who have died of AIDS (though ironically, it doesn’t receive federal funding.) The folks behind it say its existence is not just about remembering those who’ve died, but also the activism of the queer community who stepped up when the government wouldn’t. 

This story is part of the Bay Curious series “A Very Curious Walking Tour of Golden Gate Park.” It originally aired on June 3, 2022.

Episode Transcript 


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