US Army Corps of Engineers
Norfolk District

John F. Kennedy Eternal Flame Upgrade Project

Published Feb. 15, 2018

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Secretary of the Army John McHugh transfers the JFK Eternal Flame back to its permanent location on Oct. 29, 2013, after repair work to the site was completed. The flame underwent a full replacement of gas and airlines, received new digital controls and sensors, as well as a new burner assembly.
SLIDESHOW | 10 images | Secretary Transfers Flame

Project Scope:

The project updated the memorial’s burner and igniter system as well as installed new gas and air lines, and new safety sensors. The 1960’s system was on the last functioning burner and the ignition system started malfunctioning. 

The foot stones of President Kennedy and his family were visible during the upgrade, and no changes were made to the gravesite itself.

During the upgrade process white fencing was erected to shield visitors from seeing the crews at work and kept the area as a memorial to the 35th president with out the distraction of construction workers in the background. 

In a ceremony on October 29, 2013, John McHugh, secretary of the Army, transfered the flame back to its permanent location in the circular stone at the gravesite marking the end of the upgrade process.

In 1965, the Norfolk District managed the design and construction of the permanent resting site for President Kennedy, which is the second most visited site at the cemetery after the Tomb of the Unknowns.  

Programmed Cost:

  • $350,000