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Eternal Flame Restored in Time for 50th Anniversary of Kennedy Assassination

Temporary flame has been in use since April.

An upgraded eternal flame is lit using the temporary flame that has been on display since April at the Kennedy gravesite. Photo courtesy U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Norfolk District
An upgraded eternal flame is lit using the temporary flame that has been on display since April at the Kennedy gravesite. Photo courtesy U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Norfolk District

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.

Dale Tillotson October 29, 2013 at 07:49 PM
The visiting of the eternal flame some 20 plus years ago was one of the most powerful days of my life, making me then reflect then on how 30 years before that the issues the world faced. To this day i feel President Kennedy and to be President Nixon had a greater grasp on world issues than any one in todays modern political world.
keith golay October 29, 2013 at 07:57 PM
thats because they did
gerry segal October 29, 2013 at 10:04 PM
John . F. Kennedy’s assassination happened 50 years ago and a majority of Americans do not believe The Warren Commission Report. After 50 years of denials, free the files. “Sunny Day in Dallas” – Gerry Segal https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRH7qTLzxvU http://www.gerrysegal.com
Robert Johnson October 30, 2013 at 06:10 AM
The only people with the resources and knowledge of how to assassinate a world leader would be the CIA. Since Kennedy was moving towards ending the American involvement in Viet Nam thus depriving the Defense Department of their war, the Joint Chiefs were none to happy with Kennedy. General Curtis "Bombs Away' Lemay was openly disdainful of Kennedy because Kennedy stopped Lemay from wanting to bomb Berlin with tactical nuclear weapons during the "Berlin Crisis". Makes you wonder.....the CIA and DOD. For those who think the Mafia killed Kennedy, the Mafia was not smart enough to do it. Castro? No, Kennedy was in secret negations with Castro and Khrushchev to normalize relations and end the Cold War further angering the CIA and DOD.
Phillip Losc October 30, 2013 at 09:55 AM
The Eternal Flame has gone out many times during the last 50 years. I visit the site at least once a year. During a rainstorm the rain coming down the hill from the Lee Mansion and floods the gravesite and extinquishes the flame. I watched and photographed the guard relighting the flame with a Bic lighter.
John Polkowski October 30, 2013 at 03:12 PM
Despite any account of JFK, I thought he was a good President and really enjoyed those days of Camelot. Actually, sometimes I wonder where our country would have been, had he not been killed. As for the Pres. Nixon comment, I had the pleasure of meeting him at the Governor's Mansion in Williamsburg, Va. What a kind and courteous person. We walked away from the crowds of people, just he and I because he said that he wanted just to "BS" without a lot of ears. He was a nice guy. He even signed my visitors map.
Tom Lewis October 30, 2013 at 04:12 PM
And out of the woodwork comes the 'conspiracy nuts' on this, the 50th anniversary.... The price of tinfoil will skyrocket....
Tim Meese October 30, 2013 at 05:11 PM
I was just 7 years old when President Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963. It's hard to believe that it has been 50 years since that terrible day. Every day I wonder how our country would be different if President Kennedy had not been killed? I have visited Washington, D.C. several times over the years and had the honor of visiting Arlington National Cemetery and President Kennedy's grave site. It has always been a very emotional and inspirational event.
Lance Moore October 30, 2013 at 08:08 PM
Read: Killing JFK: 50 Years, 50 Lies --From the Warren Commission to Bill O’Reilly, A History of Deceit in the Kennedy Assassination by Dr. Lance Moore The unbiased facts, concisely-presented by a skilled, highly-credible author. Over 200 source-notes support a compelling case that the death of President Kennedy involved more than a “lone nut” assassin. Rebuts the 50 biggest lies told by government and media. http://www.amazon.com/Killing-JFK-Commission-OReilly-Assassination/dp/1492248177 For more info go to: www.JFK50Lies.com or www.sky-fy.com
Sammy October 31, 2013 at 07:30 AM
Kennedy, the last POTUS that the media loved.

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