Pride in Places: How the AIDS Memorial Quilt found a permanent home in San Francisco

As a result of the government’s lack of action, Herglotz emphasizes queer folks took matters into their own hands, and volunteers decided to create a healing space for comfort. 

“A place where people could gather, remember, laugh, cry, and honor the lives of their loved ones who had died. That’s really how the National AIDS Grove Memorial started – an abandoned grove in Golden Gate Park. Then Congresswoman [Nancy] Pelosi got involved, and her heart was into this from the beginning.”

Official recognition

For this reason, in October 1996, Representative Nancy Pelosi spearheaded the passage of legislation to designate the Grove in San Francisco as the nation’s official AIDS Memorial, signed by former President Bill Clinton. 

Today, it remains a dedicated space in the national public landscape where “anyone who has been touched by AIDS can grieve openly without being stigmatized.” Thousands of people come each year to walk through the Grove. 

Their lives might have been lost to AIDS, but their names and memories forever live on. (Photo: NAM)