25 years since the outbreak of the AIDS epidemic, supporters, volunteers and activists gathered in San Francisco at a national memorial to pay tribute to those people troubled by the deadly disease.
The anniversary celebration was held Saturday at the National AIDS Memorial in Golden Gate Park, specifically at a spot known as "The Grove," a location that became the epicenter for community healing and victim remembrance a quarter-century ago, organizers said in a statement.
During the tribute ceremony held on the 10-acre site, the original founders of the memorial were recognized for their work in restoring the landscape and providing a peaceful place for those impacted by AIDS to find comfort, solace and solidarity, according to organizers.
"Today, this memorial has evolved into a national treasure for our entire country to remember, seek comfort and ensure that we always keep their memory alive in our hearts," Jack Porter, a volunteer who lost his partner to AIDS in 1989, said in the statement.
25,000 volunteers have dedicated more than 150,000 hours over the past 25 years upkeeping the landscape at the memorial during community volunteer workdays, organizers said.
An estimated 36.9 million people around the world are currently living with HIV/AIDS, according to the World Health Organization. Roughly 35 million have died from the disease's symptoms, according to the statement issued by event organizers.