Saturday, May 25, 2013

Aloha to Punchbowl - National Cemetery of the Pacific

On Sunday, May 26, my family is flying to Seoul ... and we arrive on Monday, May 27 - Memorial Day.  I share my recent photos from the National Cemetery of the Pacific.

From its website (at this link),

Few national cemeteries can compete with the dramatic natural setting of the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. The “Punchbowl” was formed some 75,000 to 100,000 years ago during the Honolulu period of secondary volcanic activity. A crater resulted from the ejection of hot lava through cracks in the old coral reefs which, at the time, extended to the foot of the Koolau Mountain Range.

Although there are various translations of the Punchbowl’s Hawaiian name, “Puowaina,” the most common is “Hill of Sacrifice.”

During the late 1890s, a committee recommended that the Punchbowl become the site for a new cemetery to accommodate the growing population of Honolulu. The idea was rejected for fear of polluting the water supply and the emotional aversion to creating a city of the dead above a city of the living.

Fifty years later, Congress authorized a small appropriation to establish a national cemetery in Honolulu with two provisions: that the location be acceptable to the War Department, and that the site would be donated rather than purchased. In 1943, the governor of Hawaii offered the Punchbowl for this purpose.

Punchbowl offers a serene setting above busy Honolulu.

I walked up the crater wall to a series of memorials.

The trees give shade to the Tin Can Sailors.

This memorial reminded me that we find peace through reconciliation. 

Hit My Smoke refers to the Forward Air Controllers from the Vietnam War.

The 24th Infantry served in WWII, Korean War, and the Gulf War.

This plaque is made from the stone from the Philippines to remember General MacArthur's return to defend the island nation.  

This brought tears to  my eyes, 

This is not a bivouac of the dead.  It is a colony of Heaven, and some part of us all is buried here.

The top of the crater walls gives an excellent view of Honolulu ...

... and Diamond Head!

I was curious about this stone ... 

... what does it look like to you?

We should all embrace Hiroshi's attitude!   Do you have a veterans' cemetery in your area?  One randomly selected commenter from this week's blogs wins a Korean souvenir!  This giveaway is open to all readers.  Comments are open through Saturday, June 1, 10 pm in Hawaii.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, June 2, at the  Reading Reviewer (at this link).


Kim in Hawaii

Beauty to remember the sacrifice.


  1. This is a beautiful post, Kim. Brought tears to my eyes. SO fitting to be reading this Memorial Day weekend. God bless our troops and may all our fallen rest in peace. Bless you on your journey to reunite your military family. Safe travels.

  2. My father was stationed at the Pentagon when JFK was assassinated. We went to see his grave at Arlington National Cemetery. While we were there, Jackie and Bobby and Ted all came. It was intriguing.

  3. Wonderful post. Yes, there are a few here.

  4. Yes, we do and thanks for a great post. It looks like a face - kind of monkey like. I also get an image of a frog lol.

  5. Nice post. No, there aren't

  6. No, we don't... but I visited some in other cities...

  7. Yes, we have Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery. It is the Point Loma area of San Diego, way up high on a hillside with views of the ocean on one side and the bay and downtown San Diego on the other. A very peaceful place. Thanks for the tour Kim, and safe travels to you and the boys! Have a wonderful visit with your hubby.

  8. I'm not aware of any veteran's cemeteries near here. This is a lovely and fitting post with great pictures. Have a safe trip and lots of fun. Thank hubby for his service and thank you for all you do, Kim. God Bless.

  9. Kim, my husband is buried at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery. Well technically he's interred in a wall since I had him cremated. But the cemetery is beautiful and well maintained. I hope to get out there tomorrow. Rain yesterday and today prevented a visit.

  10. PS That stone makes me think of a monkey :P

  11. Aloha Kim,

    What lovely pictures, and so timely too, with Memorial Day right at the front of our thoughts. I found strength in those engraved words.

    And the big rock looked a lot like a frog to me!

    I hope you're enjoying your trip to Korea.

  12. A touching tribute for Memorial Day.

  13. Great pics we din r have one here