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Forgotten souls honored at the filming site of 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest'

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On Sunday, the Daily Mail reported a story about the thousands of “forgotten souls” from The Oregon State Mental Hospital. The forgotten are the remains of 3,500 deceased mentally ill patients who died during their stay at the mental hospital from the early 1900s to 1971. A decade ago, officials found 3,500 copper urns containing human ashes in the former mental institution. On Monday, officials created a memorial to remember the forgotten patients. Officials had already begun working to reunite urns with family members.

The Jack Nicholson movie “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” was filmed at the location. The forgotten remains have become a grotesque symbol of how past Americans treated the mentally ill. The dead came from 48 different states (excluding Hawaii and Alaska) and 44 different countries. Some of the deceased were former military. The honorably discharged military members will be buried in military graveyards.

Unfortunately, 38 of the urns do not have an identity. Therefore, no one can reunite those remains. Documentation stated that one patient, a 78-year-old man, suffered from senility. He walked the facility naked. Records show he arrived in New York from Norway in 1883. The movie “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” is based on a book written by Ken Kesey.

In the film adaptation, Jack Nicholson portrays Randall McMurphy, an Irish-American Korean War veteran. McMurphy is a tough guy brawler that finds himself locked up in a mental facility for fighting and gambling. McMurphy carries his issues into the facility and finds arival in Nurse Ratched. The classic movie also featured Danny DeVito and Christopher Lloyd. Both men would find fame as actors in the television hit series “Taxi.” DeVito starred as Louie DePalma while Lloyd portrayed Reverend Jim.

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