Some Park Sites Closed May 17-18
Staff from throughout the park will be at the Barataria Preserve for BioBlitz May 17-18 (you're invited too!). See how this will effect operations at other sites and learn more about BioBlitz by following the link. More »
Memorial Day at Chalmette National Cemetery
Each year, the Vietnam Veterans of VFW Post 3798 present a Memorial Day tribute to America's fallen troops at Chalmette National Cemetery on the Sunday before Memorial Day. The public is invited, and the event is free.
Each year, volunteers and staff prepare for the tribute and for Memorial Day by putting flags at each one of Chalmette National Cemetery's 15,000+ headstones. In recent years, volunteers and staff from The National WWII Museum in New Orleans have assisted with this project. For Memorial Day in 2012, more than 200 volunteers worked on the flag project. Their efforts are a wonderful tribute to the men and women who gave so much for their country.
As a young visitor to the cemetery said, "These aren't just headstones. Every one of them is a person, and that's why we should remember them."
This year, in addition to the Memorial Day ceremony and volunteer projects, a special weekend program at Chalmette Battlefield (next door to the cemetery) will pay tribute to the citizen soldiers of the War of 1812. The following events are all free and open to the public:
Friday, May 24: Volunteers are needed to assist staff and volunteers from the park and The National WWII Museum to put a flag at each of the national cemetery's 15,000+ headstones. The project begins at 7:30 a.m. and continues 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. To volunteer, call Ron Merrill at 504-281-0511 ext. 32.
Saturday, May 25: Remembering the Citizen Soldier: A War of 1812 Militia Muster with living history volunteers 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. at Chalmette Battlefield. Tour the camp of 1815 volunteer soldiers from St. Bernard Parish companies and New Orleans' free men of color battalions.
Sunday, May 26, Memorial Day ceremony presented by the Vietnam Veterans of VFW Post 3798 at 12:30 p.m. at Chalmette National Cemetery. The ceremony will include a color guard of living history volunteers, 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.
Sunday, May 26: Remembering the Citizen Soldier program continued 10:00 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Tuesday, May 28: Volunteers are needed to pick up flags and repackage them for storage. The project begins at 7:30 a.m. and continues until the job is done, usually 3-4 hours. Picking up the flags 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. Repackaging the flags requires sitting and rolling the flags for storage. To sign up, call Ron Merrill at 504-281-0511 est. 32.
Chalmette National Cemetery is located at 8606 West St. Bernard Highway in Chalmette, just downriver from Chalmette Battlefield (click here for a map to the battlefield and national cemetery) and is open daily 9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. For more information about the national cemetery, call 504-281-0510 or click here.
Watch volunteers put out the flags, learn more about Memorial Day, and find out how you can honor American troops at The National WWII Museum's My Memorial Day site.
Did You Know?
Lubber grasshoppers are sometimes known as devil's horses in south Louisiana. They lay their eggs in the fall and prefer loose dirt, so they often lay their eggs in cemeteries. These enormous flightless grasshoppers hatch in spring and spend the summer munching their way through vegetation.