This Memorial Day, Chalmette National Cemetery, one of six sites of Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, will join 30 National Park Service units across 12 states and the District of Columbia to host a virtual commemoration saluting America’s fallen troops.
The 2020 National Park Service Virtual Memorial Day Tribute — a social media event spanning more than 13 hours on Monday, May 25 — features a series of livestreams, demonstrations, historic talks, and other activities starting at 7 a.m. CDT.
The commemoration covers memorials and stories of the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the Civil War and beyond and includes a spotlight video tribute of park rangers from Maryland to Montana reciting the “Gettysburg Address.”
Jean Lafitte will present music of the Civil War, a video produced by New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park, from 5 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. CDT.
Other event highlights include a National Moment of Remembrance, wreath-laying ceremony, “Taps” salute, reading of names, national cemetery tour, and closing sunset livestream.
“Although we cannot honor our fallen troops in person this year, it is important that we never forget their sacrifices,” said Charles Hunt, superintendent of Jean Lafitte and of New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park. “Joining together with people throughout the country for this virtual remembrance will serve to keep their memories and our gratitude alive in our hearts.”
Visitors to the social media tribute are also invited to observe the holiday by performing an act of service in honor of a fallen service member, as part of Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park’s Memorial Day of Service activity.
Information about the volunteer initiative, including service project ideas and a memorial certificate, will be posted at www.facebook.com/KMNBP beginning Friday, May 22.
At Chalmette National Cemetery, entrance gates are currently closed following coronavirus/COVID-19 guidance. Pedestrian gates are open and the public is welcome to visit; limited parking is available outside the entrance gates. The visitor center for Chalmette National Cemetery and Chalmette Battlefield is currently closed. For more information visit www.nps.gov/jela.
Chalmette National Cemetery was established in 1864, and more than 15,000 service members who served in conflicts ranging from the War of 1812 to the Vietnam War are buried there. The cemetery is located at 8606 West St. Bernard Highway, Chalmette.
For a complete schedule of 2020 National Park Service Virtual Memorial Day Tribute activities, visit go.nps.gov/MemorialDay or follow Facebook.com/JeanLafitteNPS and #VirtualMemorialDay on Facebook. Hosting park, Vicksburg National Military Park, is at Facebook.com/vicksburgNPS.