National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific

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National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific

Nestled in the bowl of Puowaina, or Punchbowl Crater, this 112-acre cemetery is the final resting place for more than 50,000 U.S. war veterans and family members and is a solemn reminder of their sacrifice. Among those buried here is Ernie Pyle, the famed World War II correspondent who was killed by a Japanese sniper on Ie Shima, an island off the northwest coast of Okinawa. There are intricate stone maps providing a visual history military history lesson. Puowaina, formed 75,000-100,000 years ago during a period of secondary volcanic activity, translates as "Hill of Sacrifice." Historians believe this site once served as an altar where ancient Hawaiians offered sacrifices to their gods. The entrance to the cemetery has unfettered views of Waikiki and Honolulu—perhaps the finest on Oahu. www.cem.va.gov/cem/cems/nchp/nmcp.asp. COST: Free. OPEN: Mar.--Sept., daily 8--6:30; Oct.--Feb., daily 8--5:30.

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