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Virginia Beach, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The Flame of Hope

 
 
The Flame of Hope Monument Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, October 5, 2013
1. The Flame of Hope Monument Marker
Inscription. The Flame of Hope monument was conceived in 1972 as a volunteer project headed by Attack Squadron 43 at Naval Air Station Oceana. The monument provided squadron personal with a means to express their concern for the Prisoners of War and Missing in Action (POW/MIAs) of the Vietnam War.

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
The Flame of Hope and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, October 5, 2013
2. The Flame of Hope and Marker




as a result of the Vietnam Peace Accords returned home and it seemed like the dream to have the flame extinguished upon gaining a full accounting of those missing was drawing near.

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
The Flame of Hope image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, October 5, 2013
3. The Flame of Hope
* See nearby Markers
, Virginia. Marker can be reached from Oceana Boulevard (State Road 615) south of Bells Road, on the right when traveling south. Touch 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). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Virginia Beach.
 
Additional comments.
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.
Ground Breaking Ceremony image. Click for full size.
By The Flame of Hope Marker, `
4. Ground Breaking Ceremony
    — Submitted November 12, 2013, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.

 
Categories. War, Vietnam
 
Granite Centerpiece <br>Lowered Into Place image. Click for full size.
By The Flame of Hope Marker, `
5. Granite Centerpiece
Lowered Into Place
Navy Familes<br>Tackle Landscaping image. Click for full size.
By The Flame of Hope Marker, `
6. Navy Familes
Tackle Landscaping
Bronze Flame<br>An Ineffective Reminder image. Click for full size.
By The Flame of Hope Marker, `
7. Bronze Flame
An Ineffective Reminder
Flame Transferred to<br>NAS Oceana Chapel During<br>1973 Oil Embargo image. Click for full size.
By The Flame of Hope Marker, `
8. Flame Transferred to
NAS Oceana Chapel During
1973 Oil Embargo
Flame Of Hope Burns Again! image. Click for full size.
By The Flame of Hope Marker, `
9. Flame Of Hope Burns Again!
The Flame of Hope Marker located at Memorial Park on Oceana Boulevard (State Road 615) image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, October 5, 2013
10. The Flame of Hope Marker located at Memorial Park on Oceana Boulevard (State Road 615)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 13, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 12, 2013, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 486 times since then and 37 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. submitted on November 12, 2013, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina.
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