17th Annual Remembrance Day

Over 350 people attended the ten CMP remembrance ceremonies across the state to acknowledge and recognize people with mental health and developmental disabilities who lived and died at state hospitals. Many were buried in mass or anonymous graves that didn’t honor the value and meaning of their lives. Hosted by Disability Rights California and community partners, ceremonies were held at state institutions or cemetery burial sites, including Parkview Cemetery in Manteca, Russian River Cemetery in Ukiah, Metropolitan State Hospital, Patton State Hospital, Stockton Developmental Center, Sonoma Developmental Center and Porterville Developmental CeWoman playing the guitar in a cemeterynter. In addition, three separate ceremonies were held at Napa State Hospital (one each for residents on the LPS units, non-LPS units and the public). Disability Rights California staff provided an overview of the mission and history of the California Memorial Project, followed by speakers from the peer community, local community organizations, such as The Advocates of Person Centered Services, facility staff, state senate representatives and spiritual leaders. Many ceremonies were accompanied by music and songs from various groups, such as the “Tanaka Drum Team” and the “Musical Troop” from residents at Napa, poems such as “A Design for Living,” followed by a moment of silence honored across the state. Nature was also  in attendance, in the form of deer, rain, mountain lions, flowers at the gravesites and a “Memory Tree.” Many Napa State Hospital residents were grateful to have the opportunity to pay tribute to friends and peers who have passed on or transitioned to the community. They expressed encouragement knowing they, too, will be honored through the Remembrance Day ceremony.

Stockton State Hospital Grave with cards and flowers

17th Annual Remembrance Day Ceremonies

September 16, 2019

NORTH LOCATIONS

Ukiah, CA
12:15 PM – 1:15 PM
Cemetery: Russian River Cemetery District
940 Low Gap Road, Ukiah, CA 94582
Contact: Alicia Mendoza (916) 504-5986

CENTRAL VALLEY LOCATIONS

Manteca, CA
10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Parkview Cemetery (Next to the Mausoleum)
3661 East French Camp Rd., Manteca, CA 95336
Contact: Jenny Olson (916) 504-5987

Stockton, CA
10:30 – 11:30 AM
University Park Stockton
501 E. Magnolia St., Stockton, CA 95202 (Near the lake with a fountain)
Contact: Jenny Olson (916) 504-5987

Porterville, CA
9:30 AM – 10:30 AM
Porterville Developmental Center
26501 Ave. 140, Porterville, CA 93257
(At the gazebo next to the administration building)
Contact: Yanet Fernandez (559) 782-2286 or Alicia Mendoza (916) 504-5986

BAY AREA

Eldridge, CA
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Sonoma Developmental Center Gazebo
15000 Arnold Drive, Eldridge, CA 95431
Contact: Alicia Mendoza (916) 504-5986

SOUTH LOCATIONS

Patton, CA
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
DSH – Patton Campus (Auditorium)
3102 E. Highland Ave., Patton, CA 92369
Contact: Robyn Gantsweg (213) 213-8134

Norwalk, CA
10:00 AM – 11:30 AM
DSH – Metropolitan Campus (James Hall Auditorium)
11401 South Bloomfield Ave., Norwalk, CA 90650
Contact: Senobia Pichardo (213) 213-8181

All are welcome. If you have questions, please contact Disability Rights California (916) 504-5800 or toll free (800) 776-5746

 

17th Annual Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day events will be held in various locations throughout California on September 16, 2019 to remember individuals who lived and died in California State Institutions. Stay tuned for details on locations and times. All are welcome! Please contact us if you would like to speak, share a poem, song, talent or help organize one of our ceremonies.CMP-Flyer Statewide 2019

16th Annual Remembrance Day Celebrations

“Gone but Not Forgotten.” That’s the message symbolizing the importance and impact of the 16th Annual California Memorial Project Remembrance Ceremonies. Over 475 peers and community members came to honor and acknowledge people with psychiatric and developmental disabilities who lived and died at California state institutions. The ceremonies were held at 9 different sites throughout the state where they were buried, either on the grounds of the institutions or at local cemeteries. This year, they were held at Patton State Hospital, Metropolitan State Hospital, the Russian River Cemetery, Stockton Rural Cemetery, Sonoma Developmental Center, Agnews Developmental Center, Manteca and 2 sites at Napa State Hospital.

Sponsored by the Peer Self-Advocacy Program of Disability Rights California and People First of California, these events bring people together to remember the history and OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAchallenges people faced who were removed from the community by reason of disability. Community organizations, such as The Advocates, the ARC of Amador, Project Return – the Next Step, Our Way Wellness Center and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), and Mendocino County Supervisor John McCown and Senator Dodd’s office gathered to celebrate those who died without the respect and dignity they deserved.

1D7049B6-70DB-493B-8C15-D949DD361DD6The gazebo at Sonoma Developmental Center was beautifully decorated with paper doves and bouquets. Peers shared their personal stories of friends and family members and memories of lives lost. Some read poems in English and Spanish, while others performed music to celebrate the occasion. The Raging Grannies sang about remembering names, living for today and other songs of hope. Native American Chaplain Mickey Turtle led people at Patton State Hospital with a blessing of the ceremony, a smudging ritual and a talking circle, and guests painted rocks to honor their peers.

Gary Glatt flew from Canada to discover his uncle’s final resting place. He had died when he was 20 years old living at Sonoma Developmental Center (SDC). The SDC records department and executive director confirmed that his uncle, whom he never knew, was cremated and lay in a vault below a bench in the SDC cemetery with 500 others. After a statewide moment of silence, some walked to the burial grounds and placed flowers at the foot of monuments the California Memorial Project installed at the gravesites. It was an event filled with reflection on our past and hope for our future.

Sonoma Remembrance Day 2018

16th Annual Remembrance Day Ceremonies

California Memorial Project

16th Annual
Ceremony of Remembrance

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At 1:55 pm there will be a statewide moment of silence to honor those who died unrecognized at State Hospitals and Developmental Centers.

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September 17th, 2018

NORTH
12:15 PM – 1:15 PM
Ukiah Cemetery
Russian River Cemetery District
940 Low Gap Road, Ukiah, CA 94582
Contact: Jenny Olson (916) 504-5987

CENTRAL VALLEY
10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Stockton Rural Cemetery
2350 Cemetery Lane, Stockton, CA 95204
Contact: Jenny Olson (916) 504-5987

10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Porterville Developmental Center
26501 Avenue 140, Porterville, CA 93257
Yanet Fernandez (559) 782-2286 or
Alicia Mendoza (916) 504-5986

10:30 AM – 11:30 AM
Park View Cemetery (Next to the Mausoleum)
3661 East French Camp Rd., Manteca, CA 95336
Contact: Jenny Olson (916) 504-5987

BAY AREA

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Agnews Historic Cemetery
1250 Hope Drive, Santa Clara, CA 95054
Contact: Robin Rhoades (916) 552-6625

10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
DSH-Napa Campus (Gymnasium)
2100 Napa Vallejo Hwy, Napa, CA 94558
RSVP Required
Contact: Alicia Mendoza (916) 504-5986 or
Karina Montanez (707) 254-2431

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Sonoma Developmental Center Gazebo
15000 Arnold Drive, Eldridge, CA 95431
Contact: Alicia Mendoza (916) 504-5986

SOUTH

10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
DSH-Metropolitan Campus (James Hall Auditorium)
11401 South Bloomfield Ave., Norwalk, CA 90650
Contact: Scott Barron (213) 213-8178

10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
DSH-Patton Campus (Auditorium)
3102 E. Highland Ave., Patton, CA 92369
Contact: Linda Naranjo (619) 814-8516

All are welcome. If you have questions, please contact:

Disability Right California logo

Disability Rights California
(916) 504-5800 or toll free (800) 776-5746,

People First of California logo
People First of California
916-552-6625

15th Annual Remembrance Day Ceremonies

15th Annual California Memorial Project Remembrance Ceremonies: It was a moment for us to remember. On September 18th, 2017, the PSA program held its 15th annual California Memorial Project Remembrance Day Ceremonies to honor and acknowledge people with psychiatric or developmental disabilities who lived and died at state institutions without the dignity they deserved. Many were buried anonymously or in mass graves, forgotten over the years as weeds and debris encroached upon many of the burial sites. On what would otherwise be a somber occasion, over 300 people statewide respected and remembered their peers and celebrated their lives through songs, poems, personal stories and a moment of silence. There were 10 remembrance ceremonies at 9 sites throughout the state where many of the graves were located. These included Patton State Hospital, Metropolitan State Hospital, Parkview Cemetery in Manteca, Ukiah Cemetery, Stockton Rural Cemetery, Porterville Developmental Center, Agnews Historic Cemetery, Sonoma Developmental Center and two ceremonies at Napa State Hospital, including one in the secure treatment area for residents to participate. Peers from the local communities, including the Ukiah ABC Treatment Program, Peer Self-Advocacy Program groups in San Pedro, Rialto and Riverside and self-advocates from the Center for Advanced Personal Success and San Joaquin County Behavioral Health Services and supporters from organizations like ARC, People First of California and Disability Rights California attended. Many ceremonies included a history of the California Memorial Project and speakers from local representatives’ offices, county mental health and state hospital directors and peers from the community. At the Patton ceremony, Mickey Turtle, the Native American chaplain, gathered people from the audience and burned sage to cleanse our spirits. This spirit and mood set the tone at many of the ceremonies. Following a statewide moment of silence, entertainment included poems and songs written by peers, a performance of Taiko drummers and songs from a local community group in Ukiah called “The Raging Grannies.” Many attendees gathered around in circles, holding hands, saying prayers and placing colorful flowers at the gravesites or memorial monuments, fostering hope that life will get better for our peers.