New Brunswick, NJ
United States
Robert Wood Johnson Medical School Clinical Academic Bld. entrance 'Prayer Feather' Tainted Blood Memorial since 1 December 2001
without names
Lest we forget
Before 1985, roughly half of the nation's 20,000 persons with hemophilia contracted HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, through tainted blood products.  Wives and children were also infected.  The crisis has been referred to as the worst medically induced catastrophe in this country.

In 2001, the Hemophilia Association of New Jersey commissioned New Jersey Artist Edward Adams to create a work of public art, dedicated to people who had been infected with the virus, and to those who had died.  The Association, with the full support of the late Dr. Parvin Saidi,  Professor of Hematology, Professor of Medicine, and Director of the New Jersey Regional Hemophilia Program,  selected the entrance to the RWJ Clinical Academic building in New Brunswick as the ideal site for Mr. Adams work of art.

Prayer Feather, is an eight-foot high bronze statue into which the artist enclosed the ashes of various writings, photos, and other mementos of those community members who had died of AIDS.

The location had been selected because of its proximity to the RWJ Hemophilia Treatment Center, and because it would be in full view of patients, physicians, medical staff, medical students, and administrators.  A fitting juncture for this living memorial.  The street side of Prayer Feather is highly polished so that passersby, seeing their image, may reflect that AIDS can attack anyone. The other side, deeply textured, bears a wound symbolic of the pain and torment caused by the disease.

Prayer Feather memorializes the innocent victims whose memory remains in our hearts, honors those still struggling to survive, and reminds us that the mandate from this tragedy is clear: Forever Vigilant!!

Photos © Hemophilia Association of New Jersey HANJournal Spring Special 2019

1 December 2001
Elena Bostick, New Jersey