John F. Kennedy’s Reburial

14 Mar

Many people know President John F. Kennedy is buried at Arlington National Cemetery, where an eternal flame burns day and night in his honor. Less known is the fact that President Kennedy was exhumed from his original burial site in 1967 and reburied. So why was this done? The president’s body was moved to better accommodate the large number of visitors to his gravesite.

JFK, Dealey Plaza, 11-22-63, 11-22-1963

President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963 and buried on November 25th in Arlington Cemetery. More than three years later on March 14, 1967, President Kennedy’s body was moved to another location within the same cemetery.  Also transferred with the president’s remains were those of his deceased infant children, Arabella (sometimes referred to as his unnamed daughter) and son, Patrick.

JFK, Dealey Plaza, 11-22-63, 11-22-1963

A crane was used to move the president’s vault-enclosed casket, which remained secured throughout the process and was never opened. The eternal flame was also moved. You can read more about the original design of that unique engineering feat here.

Consecrating the president’s gravesite on March 15th in a driving rain was Roman Catholic Cardinal Richard Cushing.  In attendance were President Kennedy’s family members, including his brothers Edward and Robert, plus Mrs. Kennedy and President Johnson.

The Eternal Flame

The Eternal Flame at President Kennedy’s Gravesite

Another little-known fact involves the original casket that carried President Kennedy from Dallas back to Washington, DC. That original casket was dropped to the bottom of the ocean in 1966.  Most people are unfamiliar with facts surrounding this event.  You can read even more about that interesting story here.

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