Today my husband and I diverted from our usual walk by the seawall on Smather’s Beach down the road to Higgs Beach for a beautiful walk through history. Located by Higgs Beach is the White Street Pier and the Key West Aids Memorial. Here is a little background history of the Key West Aids Memorial:
…”The City of Key West has lost more than a thousand of its citizens to the AIDS epidemic. Some of their names are inscribed on a Memorial near the White Street Pier. The memorial is embedded in the sidewalk near the ocean, and made of flat smooth granite. The memorial was dedicated on World AIDS Day in 1997, and funded entirely through private sources.
At the time of dedication, there were 730 names engraved on the memorial. There are spaces for 1,500 names, and each year more are added and dedicated in a ceremony, also on World AIDS Day in December. A group called Friends of the Key West AIDS Memorial takes care of the memorial…”
Also, along the way you pass the old West Martello Fort that now houses the city of Key West’s lush botanical gardens that overlook the sea, as well as, the 1860 African American Cemetery Memorial which contains the graves of Africans who died after being rescued in 1860 from captured slave ships. The cemetery was discovered in 2002 using ground-penetrating radar. On June 26, 2012, it was added to The National Register of Historic Places.