Welcome to the AIDS Memorial at Willow Branch Park. We envision the permanent installation of a public art project in the form a bridge, arch and spire dedicated to Northeast Florida citizens lost to AIDS. In a decade, we plan this monument to be nationally recognized for its beauty and symbolism.
Below is the explaination of the memorial from architect Scott Fraser
Bridge of Sighs
The first sign occurs because of who you are and why you are here visiting the Memorial. The second sigh is inspired by the realization that you must cross a bridge of glass. The third is a sigh of relief upon a successful crossing. The fourth sigh? The names. All the names of those who have crossed a bridge that we cannot, yet.
What is a tree, symbolically? It is a connection between Earth and Sky; between Earth and Heaven. Rooted in rock and embraced by Space. A bridge between Mass and Void. People and spires are like trees in this regard.
How can we make a bridge out of trees? How does Nature do it? Nature does it with fallen trees. Fallen trees symbolize our fallen friends.
Perhaps some will consider the bridge impassable at first look. This is symbolic of the fact that we cannot “cross the bridge”; we cannot make that transition at this time.
There are brick-paved paths leading to and away from the bridge. The path to the bridge is paved with red bricks. Red bricks symbolize blood and life. The path leading away from the bridge is paved with yellow bricks. Yellow bricks represent purification and refined gold. Yellow bricks remind us that we are “not in Kansas anymore”. (Wizard of Oz reference)