The Salem Diamonds

Memorial Proposal presented to the Memorial Committee at the Oregon State Senate in Salem, Oregon. May 8, 2006. 3,489 Swarovski crystals, to be replaced by diamonds. Pending approval decision.

The Salem Diamonds is a memorial that will consist of 3,489 diamonds weighing .2 carats individually and 697.8 carats collectively. The diamonds will be created from the cremains of 3,489 deceased, mentally ill patients, still unclaimed and kept in storage at The Oregon State Hospital.
This is a memorial in progress. During the generative period, crystals hold the diamonds' place. As diamonds are created they replace their crystal counterparts. Each will bear an inscription: the patient's file number, as was pressed upon his urn, etched microscopically into its girdle.
The memorial is a collective effort to bring to bring 3,489 people out of the closet and into the light.

New York Times Cover article, March 14, 2005
"The cremated remains of 3,489 mental patients stored at the Oregon State Hospital have caught the attention of mental health advocates, who are considering a memorial and burial ground."

One diamond for each patient.