Virginia Beach, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
The Flame of Hope
The monument was built by volunteers from Construction Battalion 415 and sponsored by the Virginia Beach Jaycees and Oceana wives of the "They're Not Forgotten" Committee.
The Virginia Beach Jaycees coordinated contributions from the community which enabled VA-43 to obtain 50 cubic feet of cement, a propane gas tank, the 34,000 pound centerpiece, and fixtures for the plumbing for the torch. The Flame of Hope was formally dedicated on Friday, May 22, 1972.
The original intent of the monument was to have a live flame light the way for the return of all POW/MIAs from Southeast Asia, after which the flame would be extinguished. The dream of those promoting the monument was that "the flame burn briefly." However, as the war continued, the Flame of Hope became a rallying point around which the Oceans wives' "They're Not Forgotten" committee campaigned for greater awareness of the plight of the POW/MIAs among citizens and the U.S. Congress.
In February 1973, the first of 565 American prisoners were released
When "Operation Homecoming" ended, the fate of over two thousand military men remained a mystery and the Flame of Hope continued to burn. However, the oil embargo of 1973 brought public pressure to extinguish the flame as an energy-saving measure. On November 20, 1973, the flame was extinguished over the objections of those who feared for a loss of awareness of those servicemen who were left behind. A decade passed before members of the "They're Not Forgotten" committe were successful in stirring public concern when very few remains of missing Americans had been returned and over 2400 Americans remained in an unaccounted status. Their campaign succeeded on March 25, 1964 when the Flame of Hope was reignated.
On May 1, 1994, the Flame of Hope was rededicated as a continuous reminder that those who were killed or remain missing in Vietnam must never be forgotten. The Flame of Hope will continue to light the way for POW/MIA families to gain a better understanding of the fate of their sons, husbands, fiańces and fathers.
Location. 36° 49.023′ N, 76° 0.462′ W. Marker is in Virginia Beach Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Virginia Beach VA 23454, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Flame Of Hope (a few steps from this marker); Eastern Shore Chapel (within shouting distance of this marker); Peace Monument (approx. 2 miles away); Virginia Legends Walk (approx. 2.5 miles away); de Witt Cottage (approx. 2.5 miles away); Neptune (approx. 3.4 miles away); Atlantic Parkway (approx. 4 miles away); Francis Land House (approx. 4.3 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Virginia Beach.
1. The Flame of Hope Memorial
is located on Oceana Boulevard just outside the Oceana Naval Air Station main gate. The park is dedicated to the memory of Prisoners of War, Missing in Action and those killed in the service of their country. The Flame of Hope itself is lit at all times to light the way for these brave young service members to find their way home. The park is situated in such a position that it affords visitors an excellent advantage for photographing and viewing Oceana jet aircraft as they take off and land. The park includes picnic tables for use by the general public.
Categories. • War, Vietnam •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 471 times since then and 22 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page was last revised on July 13, 2016.