Hundreds of volunteers helping to clean up Chalmette National Cemetery

CHALMETTE, La. -- Nearly 500 volunteers are helping to clean up the Chamette National Cemetery.

They are learning how to clean and preserve headstones that are hundreds of years old. The cemetery is the resting place of more than 14,000 veterans who served from the Civil War to Vietnam. Four of the graves are from the War of 1812.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation’s HOPE Crew has been preserving the cemetery for three years now.

Through the efforts of 1,884 volunteers over the past two years, thousands of graves have been preserved, and the cemetery has uncovered nationally significant, yet largely unknown, military history, such as the stories of the U.S. Colored Troops—brave African American men and women who served the Union Army during the Civil War in exchange for food and clothing.

As many as 60 volunteers (at least 13 years old) can participate each day from now through March 30 —no previous experience or special skills required. Click here for more information.