Groundbreaking ceremony held in West Hollywood for 'Stories: The AIDS Monument'

WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (KABC) -- West Hollywood on Saturday marked the 40th anniversary of the first CDC report related to AIDS with a groundbreaking event for Stories: The AIDS Monument, a 7,000-square-foot installation honoring survivors and those who died of AIDS.

Sharon Stone, George Takei and U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters were among the attendees who gathered at West Hollywood Park.

"Monuments like this are so important because you document the history, what happened and the people that were involved," Waters said. "If you don't do monuments like this and honor those people who sacrificed and gave so much, it gets lost."

Dr. Michael Gottlieb, the man who first reported his findings to the CDC, was also on hand for the groundbreaking.

"The first five patients that my colleagues and I reported 40 years ago from UCLA will be remembered in the AIDS monument dedicated today," Gottlieb said.

"What I really hope this monument does is relieve us from the misunderstanding that shame should have any place in healing ourselves and our loved ones," Stone said.

The permanent art installation will be accompanied with an audio tour and audio stories. It is scheduled to open in late 2022.

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