The Eternal Flame

The eternal flame has been used as a symbol to remember people that had ideals that are meant to live on forever. There flame is not often used for remembrance of people who did not have much impact or influence on the world, it is usually used to remember people who were pioneers and leaders of their time. Three men that had used all the effort they could were all assassinated because of the things that they believed in. Martin Luther King Jr., Robert F. Kennedy, and John F. Kennedy were all shot within the same five years. These men all have a quote on the triptych on the UCSB campus, but they all have a flame at their gravesite as well. Opposed to a wall of art or a sculpture, these flames can really grab someones attention because they constantly move and shine in the night. The light on the triptych was made to attract people to the site and read the quotes that were meant to be shared and passed on. IMG_2312.JPG

Martin Luther King Jr played an integral part in the movement for nonviolent protest, which has been used for decades after his introduction. He was a pioneer of his time regarding the way all of us humans should be treating each other. Tragically, he was shot and killed in 1968, the same year that the UCSB eternal flame was set in place. Although, his gravesite in Atlanta also included an eternal flame of it’s own. There is a plaque next to the flame that States that it “symbolizes the continuing effort to realize Dr. King’s ideals for the ‘Beloved Community’ which requires lasting personal commitment that cannot weaken when faced with obstacles”. This coincides with Dr. King’s ideals because there is no excuse to treat people differently based on certain qualities. When we look at these flames today we are supposed to do our job to individually pass on the ideals regarding peace that MLK was known for spreading. We are all placed on this Earth with an equal right to participate in any activity we want. The flame at his site is a perfect symbol for these ideals because it shows that these ways of living need to last forever.

Two of the Kennedy brothers were assassinated only 5 years apart. John was killed during his presidency and Robert was killed while running for president. Both of them had a major impact with their revolutionary ideas of their time. Along with their spot in the flame triptych on the UCSB campus, they are also buried in Arlington Virginia by one of the more well-known eternal flames. The flames, at UCSB and at Arlington, enable us to open our minds to their ideals that they felt should eternally live on forever. Opposed to a wall of art or a sculpture, these flame can really grabs someones attention because it is constantly moving and it shines in the night. It was made to attract people to the triptych and read the quotes that were meant to be shared as passed on.