Here's Where Jackie Kennedy Is Buried

When Jacqueline "Jackie" Bouvier Kennedy Onassis died on May 19, 1994, America said goodbye to one of the most prominent and celebrated women of the 20th century. Alongside her husband, President John F. Kennedy, she represented a bold and aspirational image of the U.S. in the 1960s. At the heart of the Kennedy clan, she had helped to establish a dynasty that — though shaken by multiple tragic losses — has become mythic in the imagination of many Americans. Eventually, it became the symbol of national mourning after JFK's horrifying assassination on November 22, 1963. JFK's funeral took place just three days later, with his remains interred at his gravesite in Virginia's Arlington National Cemetery. Jackie, who of course was present, visited the grave a year later with her two children and placed lilies on his monument. According to The Daily Beast, by doing this Jackie signaled the end of a year-long period of mourning that had cast a cloud over the nation in the wake of one of the most seismic crimes in its history.

It was here that Jackie herself was buried after her death from non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Though she was remarried to the ultra-wealthy Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis in 1968 — taking his name — her new husband himself died in 1975. As she was unmarried at the time of her death, it was deemed appropriate that she be buried alongside her first husband.

A significant cemetery

According to its website, Arlington National Cemetery was not considered a natural site for John F. Kennedy. However, Jackie Kennedy herself was instrumental in making it so. According to the cemetery's website, before JFK's burial only one president, William Howard Taft, had been laid to rest at the grounds. But Arlington Cemetery was especially significant to the Kennedys. On Veteran's Day in 1961, the year in which JFK was inaugurated, the president gave a major speech at the amphitheater to an audience of 5,000 after laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. He had visited again on Veteran's Day just eleven days before his shocking death, meaning the cemetery bookended his short but legendary presidency.

Arlington thus trumped another suggested burial place in Brookline, Massachusetts, where JFK was raised, with Jackie and others close to him deciding that the Virginia site was more accessible for Americans who wished to pay their respects to him. Since Jackie's death it has become a place of pilgrimage for those wanting to commemorate her life, too.

A family's resting place

Jackie Kennedy was correct in her belief that laying her husband to rest at Arlington National Cemetery would give his millions of mourning admirers from across the nation a chance to pay their respects. According to the cemetery's website, around 3,000 people an hour visited the site following his funeral, and a total of 16 million did so in the first three years. As a result, a new, more accessible memorial was built. According to the cemetery, the memorial features a 5-foot granite stone that burns an "eternal flame," which Jackie herself lit on its opening in 1967. It continues to burn today. ​

Today, the Kennedy memorial at Arlington National Cemetery is also the resting place of the Kennedys' two children — Patrick, who died in infancy, and Arabella, who was stillborn. Other members of the Kennedy clan rest there as well, including JFK's brothers Robert, who was assassinated in 1968, and Edward, who died of a brain tumor in 2009. There is also a memorial marker commemorating JFK's older brother Joseph, who died in a plane crash in World War II. Today, more than 4 million people per year visit Arlington National Cemetary to pay their respects, per Arlington National Cemetery Tours.