The eternal flame at John F. Kennedy’s gravesite is a somewhat lesser-known national treasure, but none the less a heartwarming symbol of unyielding hope in the face of danger and persecution. The spot was incredibly popular shortly after Kennedy’s death, and while it is not as popular now, it still maintains a steady flow of tourists, making Arlington National Cemetery an equally popular spot. The flame’s traditional spot in the cemetery has been uprooted for the past few months, however, while construction has been going on.
The flame has made headlines today, however, by being returned to its rightful home. Today, workers moved the flame back to the permanent burner from the temporary burner it has been on since April, when the construction began. The flame was visible to tourists during its stay at the temporary burner.
The work done to the permanent burner included new gas airlines, a new burner assembly, as well as new drainage lines to run below the flame. These improvements had been expected to end around May, but the flame remained on its temporary burner throughout October, supposedly because of the government shutdown. Luckily, the flame was restored before the 50th anniversary of the 35th president’s assassination, which is about a month away.
The reasons for improving upon the site are varied. There was a lot of wear and tear from four decades of of non-stop use that needed to be fixed and improved upon. Officials from the cemetary also claim that the new equipment will provide for easier maintenance, making way for a better experience for all.