The National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (aka Punchbowl) is an ash-and-lava tuff cone that exploded about 150,000 years ago—like Diamond Head, only smaller. Early Hawaiians called it Puowaina, or “hill of sacrifice.” The old crater is a burial ground for veterans as well as the 35,000 victims of three American wars in Asia and the Pacific: World War II, Korea, and Vietnam. Among the graves, you’ll find many unmarked ones with the date December 7, 1941, carved in stone. Some names will be unknown forever; others are famous, like that of war correspondent Ernie Pyle, killed by a Japanese sniper in April 1945 on Okinawa; still others buried here are remembered only by family and surviving buddies. The white stone tablets known as the Courts of the Missing bear the names of 28,788 Americans missing in action in World War II.
National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific
Punchbowl Crater, 2177 Puowaina Dr (at the end of the road)
Our Rating Neighborhood Honolulu & Waikiki Hours Daily 8am–5:30pm (Mar–Sept to 6:30pm) Transportation Bus: 2 or 42, with a long walk Prices Free admission