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.
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.
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.
Or ones that break your heart.
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.
THE SOLEMN PRIDE
THAT MUST BE YOURS
TO HAVE LAID
SO COSTLY A SACRIFICE
UPON THE ALTAR
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.