The panel titled, “A City Of Hope & Love E. ST. Louis” is a panel on the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt that records the cause and effect the AIDS epidemic has had on the city of Saint, Louis, Missouri.
From my in-depth research and countless hours of first-hand looks, I found out that this panel is simple but effective. The size and layout of the panel are quite like the rest that is in the NAMES Project, but it is the colors and the stitching that makes the panel stand out. This panel consists of an upper and lower half that contributed to two polar opposite views on reality. The colors also are disparate such as vibrant yellow, green, and red, compared to the dull brown, black, and grey. The use of colors, symbols, letters, and designs put into play a more significant goal of unity in Saint Louis.
With all that being said, the hope of living in a perfect city with no crime, no hardship, etc. is unrealistic. We live in a society where people are selfish and greedy. Some people want power, fame, or fortune, while others want to enjoy the beauty that life has to offer. In a way, life is a cycle, in which over time, everyone has to pay up for their deeds. Karma is one of those ideologies that rewards those that have done good deeds with good fortune while those that have done bad deeds will gain a bad fortune. With karma, no individual is aware of what will happen, which is why it is imperative to be selfless and honest at all times. There are many accounts of which people in history and the present have done honest work in the best interest of another human being.
Out of many brave heroes, The Franciscan Sisters, named Sister Carol Baltosiewich and Sister Mary Ellen Rombach were the face of hope in a time of isolation and darkness regarding the gay community and the diagnosis of HIV/AIDS. They were involved in an organization that devoted countless hours and resources for the betterment of other individuals. They took what they learned from Franciscan Third Order Hospital.. and traveled from city to city to help those affected by the AIDS epidemic. Eventually, they established Bethany Place, which led to the progression of treatment and care regarding people living with HIV/AIDS that now serves in over eleven counties throughout the Metro East. The Nuns constitute a significant part of my research regarding my first panel, “A City of Hope & Love E. ST Louis.”
The outbreak of the AIDS epidemic came to be in a time where no one in the medical field had any idea as to what the cause of it was. Medical professionals assumed that those affected by AIDS were homosexual and that the disease was contagious. Therefore, they often did not treat the patients or even attempt to treat them. The initial name for the illness was called Gay-Related Immune Deficiency (GRID). However, after a few years, the name was changed to Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome when other means, besides through the gay community, of transmission, were found. The hope and goal of Bethany Place were to provide a safe house for anyone and everyone that has been affected by AIDS. The growth Bethany Place has acquired over time is remarkable. Like all other major events in history, there consists of a timeline of everything that caused Bethany Place to reach the heights it is at now but to also focus on the progression and the amount of work it took to get the foundation of this place started. This final analysis will recover Bethany Place, recounting its history and its impact on the communities of the American AIDS epidemic. Bethany Place, even in its current state, is as a reliable resource for HIV/AIDS communities and offers valuable resources that are imperative to the lives of the people it serves.