CT couple pays respects at Chalmette MonumentOct 7th, 2013 | By Candace Griffin | Category: Top Story
Last Sunday Charles B. Smith and his wife Doreen, both of whom are newly retired, decided to take a trip to Chalmette to participate in the National Monument Clean-up Day at the Chalmette National Cemetery.
The Cemetery, which is the final resting place for nearly 15,000 veterans, is cleaned annually by volunteers.
The Smiths, after learning about the need for cleanup volunteers, decided that it would be a fun and enlightening experience to visit and clean Charles’ grandfather’s grave, which he had done several times before as a small child.
“I had visited my grandfather’s grave as a kid with my grandmother and our family and wanted to pay my respects to my grandfather on this trip,” said Smith. “While researching the cemetery on the National Parks Website for the location of the headstone, we noticed
the call for volunteers to help clean the headstones during the time we would be there. This was the perfect opportunity to visit the grave and do something to help.”
Smith’s grandfather was actually from Great Britain, but came to America to become a farmer in Kansas. He later volunteered to fight in World War I for the U.S. Army, and soon after married Smith’s grandmother after migrating to Louisiana—this is how he came to rest in the Chalmette National Cemetery.
“Most of our information came from my grandmother, who passed away many years ago,” said Smith. “Like many families, we get interested in our family’s past when we get older and miss many great opportunities to get more first hand information from our grandparents, so we’re doing everything we can to try and gather more information about my grandfather and the rest of the family.”
The Smiths have taken a great interest in the history of their family and say that they will continue to visit Louisiana as often as they can to learn more about the family’s history, as well as continuing to volunteer at the cemetery.