This week’s photograph was taken on historic 14th Street Northwest, in Washington, DC, USA (of course). It’s this historic because this is what the building looked like in 1942:
There’s a lot of history between 1942 and 2018, including the destruction of this street following the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., another destruction following a drug epidemic, and then another, of the LGBTQ community terrorized by HIV and a medical and public safety community who ignored their suffering.
An important exception was Whitman-Walker Health, celebrating its 40th year this year, and received support from actress Elizabeth Taylor, whose namesake medical center operated in this building, and will, again.
Liz is memorialized just a few blocks away in recognition of the fact that she didn’t walk away:
Although Taylor is no doubt a alluring figure to look at, there is a deeper meaning behind the mural. The mural is meant to pay respects to the late actress for her foundation’s generous support of the Whitman-Walker Health Center, which helped to prevent the spread of AIDS and provided treatment to those affected by HIV/AIDS.
I still hear stories of the way human beings were treated and I am incredulous – both by the hostility they faced in a world that didn’t want them to exist, and the compassion they faced when they sought treatment here. Both have shaped a generation of physicians and nurses, especially mine 🙂 .