The graves were practically abandoned. For years, they lay unmarked beside the Frankfort State Hospital, once called the Kentucky Institute for the Feeble-Minded.
"This is how people with intellectual, developmental disabilities were forced to live not so very long ago," explains Kentucky Protection and Advocacy Advocate Jeff Edwards, "these people had a history, and contributed to history and it's never been written down, and they want to do it today."
Thursday's clean up efforts at the Frankfort State Hospital were a way for volunteers to reflect on the past. Edwards was one of many helping clean up graves sites, and place new American flags beside every stone.
"There's a plaque and there's nothing else that says this is who lived here, this is who died here and it was men, women and children. So this is the first time any one's paid attention."
Two groups helped with Thursday's clean up.
"Both groups are made up of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and those would have been the same people that would have been buried here," says Edwards, "it's dangerous what we could go back to. And it's important to remember where we were."