As many of you know, April was national volunteer month. Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve partnered with the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training to orchestrate the HOPE project at Chalmette National Cemetery. Hands-On Preservation Experience (HOPE) project at this cemetery recently concluded with  fantastic service completed.

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While the weather was mostly very agreeable, there were a couple days that the rainy weather presented itself, and yet, it still did not deter the amazing volunteers that came to pay service and respect to the veterans laid to rest there. The Chalmette National Cemetery is home to over 14,000 veterans who sacrificed from the War of 1812 to as recent as the Vietnam War. Truly, our volunteers helped honor these veterans during HOPE.


With 584 volunteers working either a three hour morning or afternoon shift during the times of April 10th through April 27th for a total of 1,733 service hours, many great things were accomplished at the cemetery. There were 11,120 headstones and markers cleaned, 153 headstones realigned, and 1,326 headstones documented. All of this was accomplished with the help of hardworking individuals, families, and many organizations from near and far such as:

Tulane University/AFJROTC CHS LA-931st AFJROTC American Heritage Girls
West Virginia University JP Young Marines Dillard University
MFR USMC Hansen’s Disease Museum Save Our Cemeteries
Monumental Task Committee LDS Church Youth Group Friends of Cabildo
Boy Scout Troop 315 The Light Foundation JCFA
Holy Cross Middle/ High Schools St. Francis High School Daughters of American Revolution
Journey Community Church New Orleans Museum Of Art Louisiana Cemetery Board
Louisiana Department of Justice Navy Air Logistics Office Limitless Vistas, Inc.
French Quarter Citizens, Inc Po-Boy Press- New Orleans NOLA Veterans of Foreign Wars
American Veterans Association Westside Cemetery Preservation Association JPHSA

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On behalf of The Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, we thank and welcome all volunteers who participated in HOPE to come back and see us again!

A special thank you is presented to Monica Rhodes, Rusty Brenner, Emily Ford, Jason Church, Jenna Rockett, Guy Hughes, Erik Kreusch, Jim Cowie, Kristy Wallisch, Chalmette Maintenance crew, Dave Fox, Julie Whitbeck, Gaynell Brady & the CVA team.

Also a very big thank you to our sponsors:

  • D2 Biological Solutions
  • Raising Canes
  • PJ’s Coffee
  • McDonald’s
  • National Trust for Historic Preservation
  • National Center for Preservation Technology and Training
  • Oak & Laurel Cemetery Preservation, LLC

Job well done and thank you!

Volunteer Appreciation Crawfish Feast at The Chalmette Battlefield. Catered by Today’s Ketch.