Elton John addresses a posthumous letter to AIDS victim Ryan White in Sunday's Washington Post, a tribute to "the friend who changed my life as well as the lives of millions living with HIV" on the 20th anniversary of his death. "A young boy with a terrible disease, you were the epitome of grace. You never blamed anyone for the illness that ravaged your body or the torment and stigma you endured."
The singer thanks White for starting a "national conversation about AIDS" and for raising both awareness and compassion. "I wish you could know how much the world has changed since 1990, and how much you changed it." Although much medical progress has been made, the disease still ravages. "It would anger you that your government is still not doing enough to help vulnerable people," writes John. "I pledge to not rest until we achieve the compassion for which you so bravely and beautifully fought." (Read more Elton John stories.)