My 2014 Retirement Trip Hawaii travel blog

Looking from the back of the cemetery across to the front -...

No raised monuments are allowed - all markers are flush with the...

Looking up the staircase at back of the cemetery

Chinese Banyan trees line roads in the cemetery

Small "rooms" off the staircase, each with a tree and seating to...

Small chapel at top of stairway

Painted tiles detail individual battles of the Pacific under the "porch" at...

Corner of one of the tiled pictures

All of the trees at the top of the staircase are cut...

Semicircular "porch" at top of staircase

Korean War battles

Daniel Inouye's gravesite. He served Hawaii in the US House and Senate...

After visiting the Arizona Memorial we went to the "Punchbowl" - officially called the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. It is in the extinct crater of the Puowaina volcano with was formed 75,000 to 100,000 years ago. In historic Hawaiian time the area was used for human sacrifice.

Now the "Punchbowl" honors any veteran who served in any branch of the service in the Pacific.

None of the graves have a headstone. All of the markers are set flat into the ground. Loved ones leave flowers and leis and other mementos but those are collected and discarded every few days.

The roadways in are lined with Chinese Banyan Trees. Unlike the Indian Banyan Trees the Chinese Banyans do not have roots hanging from the tree limbs nor do they grow around the host tree. Instead they exhibit a beautiful umbrella effect that creates a canopy over most of the roadway.

At the rear of the cemetery is a staircase. On either side of the staircase are what looks like individual rooms without a roof. Each of these are to honor veterans who are missing in action in each branch of the service. There is a single tree in each "room" and on the walls in the room are carved the names of MIA's.

At the top of the stairs is a semicircular "porch" supported by columns. In each bay is a map or picture depicting a battle in the Pacific.

I have seen Arlington National Cemetery in Washington and think this is even more beautiful and moving than it is.

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