A group of Spokane residents lit candles in prayer Monday to remember the lives of people who’ve died of AIDS.
“Some were our friends, our lovers, our children, our parents,” said The Rev. Keith Wolter, a member of the Spokane Human Rights Commission. “They taught in their own ways.”
Members of the vigil, gathered at North Central High School, said those who’ve died taught patience and tolerance, even how to create joy in the face of death.
“Tonight we gather, remember and wait,” said The Rev. George Cheney, a Lutheran minister with AIDS who does not work with a congregation. “We learn from the givers of their lives.”
About 50 people gathered outside the school for the vigil marking World AIDS Day, an annual international observance remembering people who are living with HIV or have died of AIDS.
Creating hope was the theme.
“Life isn’t only filled with difficulty and pain,” said The Rev. Linda Hart of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Spokane. “Turn a problem into an opportunity.”
Area clergy members wanted to create hope Monday by giving people a chance to remember and grieve at the vigil and at an earlier service at Our Lady of Lourdes Cathedral.
Prayers were said for men named Paul, Peter, Chris and Brian who died of AIDS in Spokane. There were prayers for gay men, lesbians, teens, people of color and bisexuals.
“Create hope for this fragile world of AIDS,” Cheney said. “Help us to touch one another, to quell the fear.”
The vigil was sponsored by the Spokane World AIDS Day Committee.