December 1st is known as World AIDS Day, and London’s very own vigil was held at Trinity United Church in the city’s east end on Saturday night.
The vigil served to remember not only the millions that have lost their lives to the illness around the world, but also to honour those from our community.
Four candles were lit on the stage, and each visitor in attendance received their own candle to light. The names of hundreds of local community members that lost their lives to HIV/AIDS were displayed on the screen.
Destini Millar is a Community Outreach Worker that lit the candle representing honour on stage at the vigil. She says this event is the perfect opportunity to remember the friends and families that passed away.
“These were people. These were human beings,” she says. “And for me, a lot of clients that I’ve worked with, their names were up on that screen tonight… it’s nice to honour that they were humans and they left something behind.”
She believes it’s important to remember that this illness does not discriminate, and that it can affect anyone. “You’ll see folks that come from the highest of class,” Millar says. “We can all find a common ground. Recognizing that this illness is taking lives, that those lives meant something to somebody, somewhere.”
The vigil hosted guests with poems, speeches, and poems, in an act of remembrance for the members of the local community that passed away. Red, knitted scarves were also available by donation.
On average, HIV/AIDS claims more than a million lives worldwide every year.