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The AIDS Memorial Quilt, shown here during its initial unfolding on the Mall in Washington, D.C., in 1987, is a uniquely powerful memorial to those who have died of AIDS. The individual panels are as varied as the people whose lives they commemorate, and the Quilt as a whole evokes the magnitude of the ongoing death toll from AIDS.

Jones created the first formal panel in 1986 in memory of his friend Marvin Feldman, to whom the Quilt as a whole is dedicated. In 1987, the NAMES Project Foundation was created, and additional panels were created for the Quilt by individuals throughout the world. The Quilt, then composed of 1,920 panels, was displayed for the first time in 1987 on the Mall in Washington, D.C., as part of the March on Washington for Gay and Lesbian Rights, during which time it was viewed by an estimated half million people.