Chalmette National Cemetery Looking For Volunteers To Help Prepare for Memorial Day

Join the Vietnam Veterans of VFW Post 3798, the National Park Service, and The National WWII Museum in honoring America’s fallen troops this Memorial Day. 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 25, at Chalmette National Cemetery, 8606 West St. Bernard Highway, Chalmette. The public is invited. The ceremony will include a color guard, bagpiper, 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. This year’s ceremony will also include recognition of the 150th anniversary of the establishment of Chalmette National Cemetery in May 1864.

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 should call 504-281-0511 ext 32 to sign up for the Memorial Day volunteer projects. Volunteers are welcome to work as little or as much of these projects as they like.

On Friday, May 23rd, 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 27th, 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 3-4 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 and entrance gates to the battlefield and national cemetery are open Tuesday-Saturday and on Memorial Day 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. The visitor center is closed Sunday-Monday and on federal holidays other than Memorial Day, but entrance gates are open on these days 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.

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