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In photos: New York City’s poetic AIDS Memorial debuts to the public

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The memorial garnered hundreds of visitors on its opening day

World AIDS Day 2016 at the New York City AIDS Memorial Photo by Lars Niki/Getty Images for Housing Works

After years of delay, the New York City AIDS Memorial is officially open to the public, befittingly debuting on World AIDS Day, which was December 1. Since then, crowds have flocked to revel at the monument and to pay their respect to the many lives lost to the disease.

The sculpture has significant ties to its host site in the West Village. It is situated at St. Vincent’s Triangle, across the street from the former St. Vincent’s Hospital, where many victims of AIDS once flocked for treatment.

Since its debut, the sculpture has attracted many to its grounds. As always, people were driven to share their experience on Instagram. The result is a series of powerful images, like the handful that we’ve rounded up below.

Dedication of the NYC AIDS Memorial on #WorldAIDSDay. 2016|NYC

A photo posted by Christopher Oates (@photohustler) on

Words from Walt Whitman’s poem “Song of Myself” are inscribed into the ground.

The memorial attracted hundreds of visitors on its opening day.

AIDS Memorial NYC Dedication. #worldaidsday #worldaidsday2016 #aidsmemorial

A photo posted by Ari (@abgnyc1) on

AIDS Memorial Dedication Ceremony | West Village , NYC #aidsmemorial #aidsmemorialnyc #nyc #hivaids #weremember

A photo posted by Chris Tuttle (@christuttle) on

The memorial was designed by architecture firm Studio a + i and is made up of an 18-foot metal canopy and three connected triangles.

White Space #geometry

A photo posted by Mark Borden (@egospeed) on

On opening day, activists encouraged the community to continue the fight to end AIDS and persevere in the fight for justice in all factions of life.