The eternal flame at the Kennedy family gravesite at Arlington National Cemetery has been restored in time for the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's assassination.
In April, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Norfolk District and its contractors lit a temporary flame from the permanent burner at the gravesite. That temporary flame was on display for the past few months while crews installed a new burner, along with gas, electric and compressed air lines and more accessible pressure regulators, according to a news release.
Tuesday, the temporary flame was used to light the upgraded eternal flame.
It's only the second time in the cemetery's history that a temporary flame has been used at the site. The first time was when Jacqueline Kennedy lit a temporary flame during the president's interment on Nov. 25, 1963.
“As we approach the 50th Anniversary of President Kennedy’s death, it is fitting that we once again transfer the flame from a temporary one, to the permanent Eternal Flame, a flame that is more modern and efficient, ensuring the light continues to remain a beacon of hope and remembrance for all who see it, a reminder of the President’s legacy to our nation,” Patrick K. Hallinan, Army National Military Cemeteries executive director, said in a statement.
The cemetery is planning a number of events to commemorate Kennedy's death and burial, including a special pictorial honoring the president's legacy; a wreath-laying at the gravesite on Nov. 22; a remembrance ceremony on Nov. 25 conducted by the Irish Defence Forces 37th Cadet Class, which provided the honor guard during Kennedy's funeral; and more.
To see more photos from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Norfolk District, click here.