Threads of Remembrance : Ellipse Display

In October of 1988, the Quilt returned to Washington, D.C., from its national tour. 8,288 panels were displayed on the Ellipse in front of the White House. At this display, loved ones, celebrities, and politicians read aloud the names of those represented on the Quilt, and this ceremony has been a tradition at Quilt displays ever since.

Members of the Dallas LGBT community, including John Thomas, attended this display, and represented the city in the candlelight vigil.

Duane Puryear attended this display, and can be seen holding the panel he created for himself. He contracted HIV at the age of 16 and was diagnosed at 22, at which point he moved back Dallas to be with his family. During this time, he worked with the AIDS Resource Center Hotline, which led to him taking on a public speaking role to help educate about HIV/AIDS. Puryear died in 1991, at the age of 26.