As a long-term survivor of the plague that killed most of my friends in the ‘80s and ‘90s, I am personally appalled at this city’s latest response to World AIDS Day. This is the one day of the year set aside to remember those lost from this disease.
In past years AIDS ribbons were placed on almost all of the city street trees in the downtown core, including Main Beach, in the days leading up to Thanksgiving. Traditionally, it was one name on an AIDS ribbon per tree, with a black ribbon around the tree. This year that was not the case. What ribbons were put up, were done at 3 p.m. on Dec. 1. Most trees had multiple ribbons and most were hung through the loop. This is just wrong and disrespectful to those names. When I tried to let those who were putting the ribbons on that it was disrespectful to put them up in this manner, I was told “No, it isn’t.”
Then I went to the cobblestone area of Main Beach where the memorial is held, I was shocked to see no tents for testing as it has been in years past. I was told by the two people there that it was only a “one day event”, and that certificates would be handed out to those who wished to get tested for free at the Community Clinic on Third Street. World AIDS Day is a one “day” event.
As a former member of this committee, I feel the committee responsible for this one event has let the city down. I expect further disappointment because in 2017 World AIDS Day will be the first Friday in December, AKA Hospitality Night.
Scott Alan, Laguna Beach