Between the 1880s and 1960s, thousands of patients at California's state hospitals and developmental centers died and were buried in mass graves or unmarked burial plots. Their remains lie, for the most part, in meadows and fields, among weeds and rocks, where numbers and markers disappeared long ago. Ceremonies are held on the third Monday of September every year to remember and honor those who died ... anonymously. The ceremonies are part of the California Memorial Project which seeks to restore those cemeteries that have fallen into disrepair.
This could make for a lovely project...perhaps a three minute opera. Further "newsy" info may be found here and here.