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Arlington National Cemetery

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The John F. Kennedy Eternal Flame
The Eternal Flame burns on over the grave of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

The Eternal Flame burns on over the grave of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

Photo by John Metzler, Jr.: Courtesy of Arlington National Cemetery
President John F. Kennedy was buried in Arlington National Cemetery on November 25, 1963. Within three years, more than 16 million people had visited his gravesite. To better accommodate the large number of visitors, cemetery officials and Kennedy family members decided to create a more suitable site. The final resting place was completed on July 20, 1967.

The 3.2 acre site is located on the slope below Arlington House. For the gravesite, the family selected irregular Cape Cod granite paving stones, which had been quarried in 1817 from near the president's home. Clover and sedum were planted in the crevices to recall a natural Massachusetts field setting.

At the wish of Mrs. Kennedy, an eternal flame, inspired by the one in Paris that marks the French Unknown Soldier, sits at the head of the grave.

Shortly after the burial of President Kennedy, his two deceased children were reburied beside their father. Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis was buried next to President Kennedy on May 23, 1994. The Kennedy gravesite remains one of the most visited memorials at Arlington National Cemetery.

Robert F. Kennedy

On June 8, 1968, Robert Kennedy was buried in a plot adjacent to President Kennedy's gravesite area. Because of a delay, the funeral service had to be postponed until late at night and 1500 candles were distributed to the mourners.

Edward M. Kennedy

On the evening of August 29, 2009, following a Funeral Mass earlier in the day in Roxbury, Massachusetts, Senator Edward M. Kennedy was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery next to his brothers in a private burial service.

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