JFK Memorials

“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” – John F. Kennedy

The 35th President of the United States, John F. Kennedy, was assassinated on Nov. 22, 1963. This anniversary of this unfortunate event is in a few days and there are a variety of memorials dedicated to him. Many people in the United States thought that JFK was a good man and a great president. Learn about some of the ways you can remember him by as this time of year approaches.

Memorial Attractions

Three of the popular JFK Memorials are in Boston (where he was born), near Washington, D.C. (where he served in the White House), and in Dallas (where he was assassinated). Each memorial is different and serves a unique purpose.

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum

“The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum is dedicated to the memory of our nation’s thirty-fifth president and to all those who through the art of politics seek a new and better world.” The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum is one of the 13 Presidential Libraries that was administered by the National Archives and Records Administration.

The Library and Museum are located on Boston’s waterfront, at Columbia point. The buildings are set on a ten acre park that is landscaped with pine trees, shrubs and wild roses. The setting is supposed to be reminiscent of the landscape of Cape Cod, which was familiar to President Kennedy.

When visiting the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum, you can experience the following:

  • Three theaters
  • Period settings
  • 25 dramatic multimedia exhibits
  • A recreated world of the Kennedy Presidency for a “first-hand” experience of John F. Kennedy’s life, legacy, and leadership
  • Shopping at the Museum Store
  • Dining at JFK Café
  • Walking along the Harborwalk
  • Having a picnic on the beautiful grounds at the Harbor’s edge
  • Viewing  President Kennedy’s 26′ sailboat, Victura, which is on display from May to October

Watch this video for a behind the scenes look at the Library and Museum in Boston:


JFK Eternal Flame

“The John F Kennedy Eternal Flame presidential memorial is one of the centerpieces of the Arlington National Cemetery. It pays honor to one of most famous of all US presidents; John F Kennedy.” Arlington National Cemetery honors those who have served our nation by providing a “sense of beauty and peace” for their guests. The Eternal Flame was “inspired by the French Tomb of the Unknown Solider under the Arch of Triumph in Paris, which the Kennedys had visited earlier in 1961.” It was JFK’s wife who wished to place the eternal flame on his grave, and visitors can still see it burning today.

At the time of John F. Kennedy’s death, many people believed that he would be buried in Boston. However, the wishes of Jacqueline Kennedy, the president’s widow, were stated simply, “He belongs to the people.” After this statement, plans were made to model his funeral after ceremonies provided for Abraham Lincoln. JFK was then buried at Arlington National Cemetery, in Arlington County, Virginia. Arlington County is very close in proximity to Washington, D.C. and therefore is headquarters to many agencies and departments of the federal governments of the United States. It’s fitting that this “impressive landscape serves as a tribute to the service and sacrifice of every individual laid to rest within the hallowed grounds of Arlington National Cemetery.”

There are many ways to Honor, Remember, and Explore the Cemetery:

  • The Grounds of Arlington National Cemetery – “Arlington National Cemetery is both the most hallowed burial ground of our Nation’s fallen and one of the most visited tourist sites in the Washington, DC, area.”
  • Find a Gravesite – An application known as ANC Explorer, was developed to enable “veterans, family members and the public to locate gravesites; generate front and back photos of a headstone or monument; and receive directions to those locations.”
  • Changing of the Guard – “The guard is changed every hour on the hour Oct. 1 to March 31 in an elaborate ritual. From April 1 through September 30, there are more than double the opportunities to view the change because another change is added on the half hour and the cemetery closing time moves from 5 to 7 p.m.”
  • Tomb of the Unknowns – “The Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA, is also known as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and has never been officially named. The Tomb of the Unknowns stands atop a hill overlooking Washington, D.C. On March 4, 1921, Congress approved the burial of an unidentified American soldier from World War I in the plaza of the new Memorial Amphitheater.”
  • Memorial Amphitheater – “The Memorial Amphitheater at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA, was dedicated on May 15, 1920. While many ceremonies are conducted throughout the country, many consider the services at Arlington’s Memorial Amphitheater to be the nation’s official ceremonies to honor all American service members who serve to keep the United States free.”
  • Welcome Center – “A first stop on a trip to Arlington National Cemetery should include the Welcome Center, located by the cemetery entrance. In the Welcome Center there are maps, information services (to include grave locations), kiosks for accessing the ANC Explorer, a bookstore, restrooms and water fountains. The Welcome Center also contains exhibits and displays that tell the story of Arlington National Cemetery and its significance to the nation.”
  • Monuments & Memorials – There are a variety of monuments and memorials located here that each represent something distinct.

View a tour of the Arlington National Cemetery:

The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza 

Dealey Plaza marks the birthplace of Dallas, which was founded by John Neely Bryan in the 1840s. “Three decades after the Kennedy assassination, in October 1993, the secretary of the Interior designated Dealey Plaza a National Historic Landmark District. This new historic status acknowledged that the spot where John F. Kennedy died was important in United States history.” Each year on the anniversary of the assassination, people gather together in Dealey Plaza to pay their respects.

“The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza chronicles the assassination and legacy of President John F. Kennedy; interprets the Dealey Plaza National Historic Landmark District and the John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza; and presents contemporary culture within the context of presidential history.”

The museum has both permanent and temporary exhibits. The permanent exhibit features films, photos and other artifacts that provide details on President Kennedy’s life, death and legacy. Temporary exhibits can be seen on the seventh floor. Other museum activities include:

The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza got its beginnings from the John F. Kennedy Memorial Plaza, which was dedicated on June 24, 1970 and is located one block east of Dealey Plaza, between Main and Commerce streets. “While aesthetically simple, the intent of the Kennedy Memorial was often misunderstood. A thoughtful piece of art, originally it had no interpretive features.  The space was intended for reflection and remembrance.  Yet, as more visitors came to Kennedy Memorial Plaza and to nearby Dealey Plaza, it became clear that an exhibit was needed to explore the topic of the Kennedy assassination.”

See a quick overview of the museum:


Now that you have some information on a few popular JFK Memorials, enter our JFK Memorial Sign Up Contest for the chance to win a $25 gift card that can be used on your visits!

JFK Memorial Banner

Click here to enter!

Don’t forget that you can use Hertz NeverLost and the My Explore Hertz NeverLost Mobile Companion to guide you while visiting these cities!

Have a good week!

-Melissa Woodring 🙂

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