• Image of swamp, bayou, and marsh

    Jean Lafitte

    National Historical Park and Preserve Louisiana

Memorial Day at Chalmette National Cemetery

Image of people with bowed heads during Memorial Day ceremony at Chalmette National Cemetery
The Vietnam Veterans of VFW Post 3798 present a Memorial Day ceremony at Chalmette National Cemetery each year. Here a moment of silence encourages remembrance of troops who gave their lives for their country.
 
Image of people putting American flags at graves in Chalmette National Cemetery

Every Memorial Day, volunteers and park staff put a flag at every one of the 15,000+ headstones in Chalmette National Cemetery.

Each year, the Vietnam 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 park 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 have assisted with this project. For Memorial Day in 2014, more than 175 volunteers from the museum, branches of the armed services, schools, scout, and community groups, as well as individuals, 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 the headstones is a person, and that's why we should remember them."

Chalmette National Cemetery is located at 8606 West St. Bernard Highway in Chalmette, just downriver from Chalmette Battlefield, site of the Battle of New Orleans in 1815 (click here for a map to the battlefield and national cemetery). The battlefield visitor center and battlefield and national cemetery entrance gates are open Tuesday-Saturday, Memorial Day, and Veterans Day 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. The battlefield visitor center is closed on Sunday-Monday and on federal holidays other than Memorial Day and Veterans Day, but entrance gates to the battlefield and to the national cemetery are open 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. on those days. For more information about the national cemetery, call 504-281-0510 or click here.

Learn more about Memorial Day and how you can honor men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country at the My Memorial Day website.

 
Image of volunteers in National World War Two Museum shirts at Chalmette National Cemetery
Staff and volunteers from The National WWII Museum partner with the park each year to put out flags at headstones in the national cemetery.
 

 

 
Image of volunteers preparing American flags for storage
Picking up more than 15,000 flags and preparing them for storage is a big job, but volunteers and park staff working together get the project done quickly.

Did You Know?

A Water Moccasin swims through the bayou.

The cottonmouth or water moccasin can warn you of its dangerous bite in many ways. It releases a musky odor and opens its mouth wide to show you its white mouth and fangs. Show respect for snakes and all wildlife and always keep a safe distance away.