Victims remembered as part of World AIDS Day

The AIDS Memorial Quilt is on display at Coastal Carolina University's Myrtle Beach campus. / Lisa Edge

Around the globe, people observed World AIDS Day through ceremonies. At a candle light vigil in Myrtle Beach Thursday evening, a small group remembered loved ones who died from the disease.

Victims were also honored in the AIDS Memorial Quilt on display at Coastal Carolina University's Myrtle Beach campus.

"I have lost about 12 friends to this disease. It hurts me every time I walk around and read it because it brings back the memories of the friends that I have lost," says Darrell Senter with the Coastal AIDS quilt project.

"I just miss him. We were very close," explains Cheryl Litcher. She lost her brother to AIDS in 1991. At the time, they were living in Syracuse, N.Y. A panel dedicated to her brother is part of the display. It's simple and reflects his love for flowers.

"I know there's a lot of people that it's hard for them to come and see it because it is an emotional experience. Especially when you read some of the things they have on the quilts," says Litcher.

The 20 panels that hang from floor to ceiling are part of a much larger quilt. The entire quilt is on display in Atlanta and is made up of 45,000 panels. Each tells a unique story.

"It's considered the world's largest art project. And it will continue to be until we stop it," says Senter.

Those remembered include a 3-year-old child. As well as a Myrtle Beach man, Tim Truett, who died on Christmas Eve in 2000.

"Thank God we have the medication we have now. I think it's become a disease almost like diabetes to a degree because people think you can live with it now and are not as concerned or safe as they should be," adds Senter. He hopes those visiting the exhibit "will go home and tell their loved ones, protect yourself, be careful."

The memorial quilt will be on display until Saturday.

In 1988, the World Health Organization established World AIDS Day.