Monday, May 26, 2008

Boy Scouts Good Turn at the Punch Bowl

On the Sunday before Memorial Day here in Oahu, the Aloha Council of the Boy Scouts hosts a "Good Turn" (good deed) at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific known as "The Punchbowl." Hundreds of scouts gathered at the cemetery today for a memorial ceremony and then to place flags and leis at the headstones of the graves. The VA website here has a list of the noteworthy people burried in the Punchbowl cemetery, such as Colonel Onizuka, the pilot of the Space Shuttle Challenger.

It was pretty crowded at the cemetery today. We had to park about a mile down the hill and walk up into the Punchbowl. The Punchbowl is a crater like Diamond Head. To get into it, you go up a road that curves up the outside of the crater and has some really pretty views of Diamond Head and Waikiki.

The Three Musketeers
J, E, and ES in their spiffy new yellow neckerchiefs
This is the road that spirals around the
outer edge of the crater into the cemetery.

Gee, ES, that's an awfully nice Wolf tie-clasp.
Why, thank you, E, I like yours, too.

ES and Daddy at the top of the Punchbowl.

ES checks out the map of the Battle of Midway

We had stopped here to visit Punchbowl once before a long time ago, but we didn't come up the steps to the top of the memorial. There's a really nice exhibit at the top of the steps with color maps depicting each of the battles of the war in the Pacific. If you are a history buff at all, I highly recommend paying a visit here. Also, the view from the top is pretty nice.

ES reads the headstone after
placing the lei around the flag.

There were many of these "Unknown" headstones dated December 7, 1941. Some at least had the ship name where their body was found.

Medal of Honor

The graves with the blue flags and the gold lettering on the headstone are recipients of the Medal of Honor. We took a moment to talk with the boys about the significance of the nation's highest honor for bravery.

Mission Complete

ES took this photo of the flags

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Battle 360! E's dad recommended we check out this show called Battle 360 on the History Channel. It sounded pretty cool, so LW set the DVR up to record it for us. Today we watched the episode about the Battle of Midway. It was really cool. ES was absolutely mesmerized by it. They basically tell the story of the battle with computer graphics showing what the ships' positions were and what the fighting was like, interspersed with actual photos and interviews with veterans from the battle. The show really helps viewers to understand the overall sequence of events and strategic impact of the battle, but it's pretty G-rated - not a lot of blood and gore to worry about the boys watching it.


C said...

Your second to last photo (the one of the flags) is beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

JoLee said...

Was the photo of the flags that ES took taken with HIS new camera? Cool that you did this with him!