John F. Kennedy Eternal Flame


US Army Corps of Engineers Norfolk District Repair of the John F. Kennedy Eternal Flame at the Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington Virginia

The national historic landmark, the John F. Kennedy Eternal Flame, Presidential Memorial at the gravesite of John F. Kennedy at the Arlington National Cemetery reconstruction project was awarded to Meltech by the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, Norfolk District, VA. 

The project consisted of the replacement of the burner assembly and the supporting infrastructure including gas, electric, and compressed air lines for the flame as well as installed new drainage lines below the flame and also included the relocation of the gas pressure regulators from inside to outside the chamber to provide easier maintenance and access.

This is only the second time in history that a temporary flame has been used at this site. The first time was when Mrs. Kennedy lit a temporary flame during her husband’s interment service on Nov. 25, 1963. That flame was then transferred to the permanent Eternal Flame in March 1967.

“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,” said Patrick K. Hallinan, executive director, Army National Military Cemeteries and Arlington National Cemetery.

There were number of remembrance events planned at Arlington National Cemetery to commemorate the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy’s death and burial.

November 15, a special pictorial exhibit honoring President Kennedy’s legacy will be on display in the basement of the Memorial Amphitheater. This exhibit will be on display through Dec. 1, 2013.

November 22, Arlington National Cemetery will conduct a wreath laying remembrance ceremony at President Kennedy’s gravesite.

November 25, the Irish Defense Forces 37th Cadet Class will conduct a remembrance ceremony at President Kennedy’s gravesite. The 37th Cadet Class flew to Washington to provide an honor guard during President Kennedy’s funeral service.

Meltech completed the Eternal Flame replacement and testing on schedule for the Flame Transfer Ceremony, the celebration of the 50th anniversary of President Kennedy’s death. The original flame, constructed fifty years ago, was due for a major upgrade.  Meltech, working in partnership with the USACE, undertook this historic project in 2013 to reconstruct major elements of the site, and upgrade the Eternal Flame.  Today, the flame stands tall, and proudly represents the spirit and legacy of President John F. Kennedy.