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Seabee Monument, National Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl), Honolulu, Hawaii

Seabee Monument, National Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl), Honolulu, Hawaii

Built in 1948, this National Cemetery is located in the Pu’owaina Crater (Punchbowl). In ancient times, this crater was known as the “Hill of Sacrifice.” So today the cemetery is a memorial to the sacrifice made by the men and women in the United States Armed Services. Dedicated on September 2, 1949, 776 casualties from the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor were among the first to be buried here.

The Honolulu Memorial was erected by the American Battle Monuments Commission in 1964 and dedicated in 1966. It was erected to honor sacrifices and achievement of American Armed Forces in the Pacific during WWII, Korea, and Vietnam.

The impressive memorial sits high on the wall of the crater overlooking the graves area of the cemetery. It consists of a non-sectarian chapel, two map galleries, a monumental staircase leading from the crater floor to the Court of Honor, and ten Courts of the Missing. A total of 28,778 names are inscribe on the ten Courts of the Missing which flank the staircase.

On the front of the tower which houses the chapel is a 30-foot female figure known as “Columbia” standing on the symbolized prow of a US Navy carrier with a laurel branch in her left hand and the inscription by President Lincoln “…The Solemn Pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom”.

Lady Columbia symbolizes all grieving mothers and looks out on the cemetery that fills the 116-acre Punchbowl Crater. The view from the Punchbowl encompasses the city of Honolulu from Waikiki and Diamond Head to Pearl Harbor.

The Seabee/CEC Memorial Marker was placed at the cemetery along the walkway leading to the cemetery’s vista point with about 30 other memorial stones as a direct result of the efforts of Chief Petty Officer Clint Rainey who was stationed at Pearl Harbor at the time. He was responsible for the inspiration, design, fund raising, cemetery approval and final placement of the marker.

 

 

Driving Directions

Located above the city of Honolulu, take Ward Avenue off of Ala Moana Boulevard. Take a right on Prospect Street and follow the signs into the Punchbowl, The Cemetery is also accessible from H1 or the Pali Highway. Follow the signs.

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