Join the Vietnam Veterans of VFW Post 3798, the National Park Service, and The National WWII Museum www.nationalww2museum.org to honor America’s fallen troops at Chalmette National Cemetery this Memorial Day. The national cemetery is located at 8606 West St. Bernard Highway, Chalmette, and is part of Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve. All programs are free and open to the public. For more information call 504-281-0510 or visit www.nps.gov/jela.
The Vietnam Veterans of VFW Post 3798 will present a Memorial Day ceremony at 12:30 p.m. Sunday, May 27. The public is invited. The ceremony will include a color guard, bagpiper, remarks from post members, and Recognizing Our Roots Youth Living History Program and living history volunteers in period dress. Vietnam War veterans buried in the cemetery and members of the post interred elsewhere will be honored with a special salute.
Volunteers are needed to assist staff and volunteers from Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve and The National WWII Museum in support of Memorial Day. Volunteers can sign up for the Memorial Day projects at www.nps.gov/jela. Volunteers are welcome to work as little or as much of the Memorial Day projects as they like.
- On Friday, May 25, flags will be put at every headstone in the cemetery. The project begins at 7:30 a.m. and will continue until the job is done, usually 2-3 hours. The project requires walking and bending over. Volunteers will be outdoors in possible hot, humid, and buggy conditions and should be prepared with sunscreen, insect repellent, and closed-toe shoes.
- On Tuesday, May 29, the flags will be picked up and repackaged for storage. The project begins at 7:30 a.m. and will continue until the job is done, usually 2-3 hours. Picking up the flags requires walking and bending over. The repackaging of the flags requires sitting and rolling the flags for storage. Volunteers will be outdoors in possible hot, humid, and buggy conditions and should be prepared with sunscreen, insect repellent, and closed-toe shoes.
Chalmette National Cemetery is located next to Chalmette Battlefield, the site of the Battle of New Orleans in 1815. The national cemetery and battlefield are managed by the National Park Service as one of the six sites of Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve. Over 15,000 people are buried at the national cemetery, which was established in 1864 as a burial place for Union soldiers who died in Louisiana hospitals during the Civil War. Service members who served in conflicts ranging from the War of 1812 to the Vietnam War are buried there.
The visitor center on the battlefield is open 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. daily; it is closed on Mardi Gras and on all federal holidays other than Memorial Day and Veterans Day. The entrance gates at the battlefield and national cemetery are open when the visitor center is open; the gates are also open 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. on federal holidays when the visitor center is closed. National cemetery gates only are open 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. on Mardi Gras. Admission is free. More information is available at 504-281-0510 or at www.nps.gov/jela.