National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific

We did the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific the same day as the Arizona Memorial. It was quite a bit to take in, but I think its important for my kids, especially because they have a parent who is in the military, to understand the sacrifices that have been made for them. This memorial which is known as Punchbowl, sits up on top of a crater with a stunning view of downtown and Diamondhead.DSC_0035

 

 

We waited a few days after Memorial Day when it had some pretty big crowds, so we had a only a few others in the entire place.  DSC_0037

 

 

It’s really interesting to walk along and see veteran’s from wars that were fought decades apart buried next to each other. You also sometimes find headstones for astronauts.

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Or ones that break your heart.DSC_0040

 

 

Alongside the stairs is the Court of the Missing, walls engraved with the names of 28,788 of military members who have never come home. I had no idea. DSC_0043

 

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THE SOLEMN PRIDE
THAT MUST BE YOURS
TO HAVE LAID
SO COSTLY A SACRIFICE
UPON THE ALTAR
OF FREEDOM

 

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A Final Homecoming

I received word from a fellow military spouse about Air Force Captain Reid Nishizuka who, along with three others, was killed in a plane crash in Afghanistan. Nishizuka was a local boy from Kailua and would be coming back to the island to be laid to rest at Punchbowl.

My friend and I took our kids and lined up along with hundreds of others to welcome him home and to thank him for the ultimate sacrifice.

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http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/22213745/hundreds-line-hickam-streets-for-fallen-airmans-final-homecoming