As I awoke this morning to the view from my balcony at the Hilton Hawaiian Village on Waikiki, I knew that today was going to be special because I had arrived safely and my first stop after picking up my rental car would be to pick up pink carnations to place on several graves at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at the Punchbowl.
Eva Ann Via and the Daughters of the American Revolution wanted me to place flowers at that grave of noted World War II correspondent, Ernie Pyle. During the battle of Okinawa, Ernie Pyle had been felled by a sniper’s bullet and he was laid to rest in Section D, Grave 109 of the Punchbowl National Cemetery.
I was not prepared for what I found at this national monument not only because of the beauty but also because of the stark and solemn way our heroes were remembered whether named or unknown.
This memorial site brought me to tears with its enormity and sheer number of names on the Memorial Walls of the missing soldiers of the Army, Navy, and Marines from World War II.