AIDS Memorial in Cawthra Park

AIDS Memorial is a special place to celebrate the life of those who dies from AIDS. It's in Cawthra Park, right next to the 519 Church Street Community Center.

The memorial was initiated by Michael Lynch, an AIDS activist and was opened in 1993. Right at the center of Cawthra Park is a series of concrete pillars standing behind each other. On these pillars are stainless steel plaques with the engraved names of those who died from the disease. More than 2000 names (or maybe more than 3000 now) are on these plaques. Opposite their names is the year they died.

Visiting a memorial on your visit to this city might be a weird thing to do for some, but, just in case, you'll be walking down Church Street, dropping by a minute or two at the memorial is not a bad thing to do.

CRY (a poem by Michael Lynch)

Before you read the names of those wonderful souls, you will be greeted first by a poem, CRY, written by Michael Lynch himself.


Morning though a city garden widens
its swath. Shiny eyes of cinquefoil,
azure eyes of myosotis, bruised lobelia
refused to blink. Intruders trapped in a cross-stare
harden, crumble into fine
dustings because our sympathies
will not adapt to sun and cinquefoil: our world
steel and concrete, oil and song.
We hoist our lives high over the drone
of traffic and screwing gulls, hoist bags
of soil to terraces at the setbacks; set out
cinquefoil, watch its leavings, count
its days. Some days we doze in the sun
and dream we too are cinquefoil or lobelia,
blowing and blanching without demur.
Then pneumocysticis breaks.
We open our eyes to the skyline we incised.
and know as a jet cuts through cloud that
cities are our gardens, with their stench
and contagion and rage, our memory, our sepals
that will not endures these waves
of dying friends
without a cry.

Michael Lynch - 1944-1991

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