About 5800km west from Dublin is a big cemetery and there is a big grave site with an “eternal flame” ( en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_F._Kennedy_Eternal_Flame ), a gas flame that is not at all eternal but has been built to relight itself whenever the flame gets extinguished. In its history since 1967 the flame has been re-lit by hand at least twice, I guess with a lighter or a match stick.

The man who is buried there was in Ireland in 1963 and visited Dunganstown near New Ross in Co. Wexford, where his ancestors had lived before they emigrated to America. This year is the 50th anniversary of this visit and he is so important to Co Wexford that a big celebration will take place.

No problem with all that! …but who was the genius that came up with the idea so send a plane to the USA to collect a flame that was lit on the “eternal” flame on his graveyard and to bring that to Dublin, then hand it over to the army in a big ceremony who would hand it over to the Navy, who then will bring the flame by Naval ship to Co. Wexford? I hope that genius is also paying for all that and not you and I!

Considering that the “eternal” flame is anything but eternal, could the people in Dunganstown or New Ross not just have used a Zippo lighter or a match stick that was bought in the USA to light a candle here?

What an odd, unnecessary and totally nonsensical procedure! www.thejournal.ie/jfk-eternal-flame-ireland-959642-Jun2013/

You wonder who was the guy? Well, he was kind of famous, but that still doesn’t justify that odd flame transport ( www.irishtimes.com/news/how-do-you-carry-a-flame-on-a-plane-1.1436976 ). It was John F. Kennedy, the former US President who visited Ireland only a few months before he was assassinated in 1963 and who is buried on Arlington Cemetery in Virginia.

UPDATE:
On Thurs 27 June, RTE reports that the JFK Flame in Wexford had to be relit after a technical glitch ( www.rte.ie/news/2013/0627/459259-jfk-wexford-flame-relit-after-technical-glitch/ ). The New Ross town manager √Čamonn Hore assures us that the torch has been relit from one of the spare flame sources that was taken from Arlington Cemetery. Would he tell us if it was relit with a lighter? Since the JFK flame in Arlington has been re-lit a number of times and because fire doesn’t have an ancestry, it doesn’t matter in the slightest, but it is hilarious how they keep going on about the originality of the flame.
Hore also said that planned maintenance will see the flames extinguished on a monthly basis but relit always using flames from Arlington, so will they keep these other four flames in miner lamps (Davy Lamps) going for ever too? Mad!