As a Navy veteran (and hubby an Army veteran), we seldom visit Oahu without a stop up to the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl) to pay our respects to shipmates and brethren who gave the ultimate sacrifice. Like a visit to the USS Arizona, this place elicits those special feelings of awed respect, contemplation, and reverence for what it represents. Hundreds… thousands of names on granite walls and stones grave…. each with a story to be told.
Tour buses are no longer allowed to stop and unload here; they only get to drive through. So if you want to walk these hallowed grounds, you need to get a car and drive yourself.
IMAGES POSTED IN HONOR OF THOSE WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES SO WE, WHO LIVE IN THE U.S.A., MIGHT BE SAFE, FREE and PROSPEROUS.
See the entire collection on my Flikr Photostream:
The crater 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.” This translation closely relates to the history of the crater. The first known use was as an altar where Hawaiians offered human sacrifices to pagan gods and killed violators of the many taboos. Later, during the reign of Kamehameha the Great, a battery of two cannons was mounted at the rim of the crater to salute distinguished arrivals and signify important occasions. Early in the 1880s, leasehold land on the slopes of the Punchbowl opened for settlement and in the 1930s, the crater was used as a rifle range for the Hawaii National Guard. Toward the end of World War II, tunnels were dug through the rim of the crater for the placement of shore batteries to guard Honolulu Harbor and the south edge of Pearl Harbor.