Join the Vietnam Veterans of VFW Post 3798 and the National Park Service to honor America’s fallen troops at Chalmette National Cemetery this Memorial Day weekend. 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 listed below are free and open to the public. For more information call 504-281-0510 or visit www.nps.gov/jela.
Volunteer Projects: Volunteers are needed to assist staff and volunteers from Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve in support of Memorial Day. Volunteers should visit www.nps.gov/jela to sign up for the Memorial Day volunteer projects. Volunteers are welcome to work as little or as much of the projects as they like.
- On Friday, May 26, American 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 3-4 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 30, flags will be picked up and prepared for storage. The project begins at 7:30 a.m. and will continue until the job is done, usually 3-4 hours. Picking up flags requires walking and bending over. Preparing flags for storage requires sitting and rolling flags. Volunteers will be outdoors in possible hot, humid, and buggy conditions and should be prepared with sunscreen, insect repellent, and closed-toe shoes.
Ceremony: The Vietnam Veterans of VFW Post 3798 will present a Memorial Day ceremony at 12:30 p.m. Sunday, May 28. The public is invited. The ceremony will include a color guard, bagpiper, members of Chalmette Battlefield’s Recognizing our Roots Youth Living History Program, and remarks from post members. Vietnam War veterans buried in the cemetery and members of the post interred elsewhere will be honored with a special salute.
National Cemetery Tour: Following the ceremony on Sunday, May 28, at about 1:30 p.m., discover some of the stories of Chalmette National Cemetery on a guided walking tour.
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 and entrance gates to the battlefield and national cemetery are open daily 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m., including on the federal holidays of Memorial Day and Veterans Day. On federal holidays other than Memorial Day and Veterans Day, the visitor center is closed but entrance gates to the battlefield and to the national cemetery are open 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Admission is free. More information is available at 504-281-0510 or at www.nps.gov/jela.
About the National Park Service: More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 400+ national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.