PORTLAND, Ore. – They served in the Civil War, the Indian Wars, the Spanish-American War and World War I. But for decades, their ashes and those of thousands of others lay abandoned in corroded urns in an outbuilding at Oregon's state psychiatric hospital.
The Oregon National Guard on Friday offered a rifle salute and played Taps at Willamette National Cemetery to honor 19 veterans and the spouses of two other veterans who were patients at the now 132-year-old hospital and died there.
Their remains were discovered in 2004, along with those of about 3,500 other people, by lawmakers visiting the dilapidated facility.
Dubbed the "forgotten souls," they became a symbol of the dark history of treating the mentally ill.
The hospital has identified most of the remains and has so far matched 302 urns with families.