Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The last of our Trip - Punch Bowl

So this is the last of our Hawaii trip pictures.  Our 9 days in Hawaii went by quickly and my kids are now saying it is hard to remember they were ever there. We just jumped back into our normal routine when we got home.  I guess it is a good thing we took over 600 pictures (I obviously didn't post them all). It will prove that they were there.

The flowers in Hawaii are gorgeous. I spent a lot of time looking and smelling all the different pictures. There were flowers on the trees everywhere we went and my girls loved to pick them up off the ground and wear them in their hair.

The late afternoon of the last day we were on the Island we decided to visit The Punch Bowl.  It seemed a fitting end to our trip which started with Pearl Harbor.

We got a bit lost trying to get there and ended up seeing a lot of downtown Honolulu. 
And as we drove up the crater we could look out over the city. It is a big busy city. There isn't any city like this on Maui which is the only other Hawaiian Island I have visited. I assume the other Islands too can't claim a big crowded metropolis like Oahu.
We finally made it to The Punch Bowl National Cemetery of the Pacific and after visiting the facilities and the small visitors center we walked around the grounds.
This is where a lot of WWII soldiers are buried.
Here is an unknown soldier who's date of death was December 7, 1941. My kids quickly said "Hey he died at Pearl Harbor". They found many more stones with names and that date on them.  My husband, as he walked down the rows of stones could tell just by the date of death what battles or islands they most likely died on.
We walked up to the memorial and climbed the many steps up to the top. We stopped to look at the big slabs of marble on the sides which were covered in names of those, that as stated on the plaque, who served our country but whose earthly resting spot is known only to God. There were a lot of names!
We couldn't decide who the lady on the memorial was supposed to be. Sophie called her "Lady Liberty with the mean face". I thought maybe she is supposed to be Athena Goddess of War. But then again we aren't Greek. So Lady Liberty is a better guess. She was rather angry looking. I guess she is upset by how many lives had to be taken in order to protect freedom.

Here we are at the pool under her feet.
Behind her is a colonnade with maps of many of the Island of the Pacific where WWII battles were fought. It was really interesting to see those maps. So interesting in fact that we forgot to take any pictures of them. My kids were so interested in everything. I was sort of surprised. But then we had just spent weeks studying and reading about WWII so they understood the history and all that this cemetery represented.

This is the view looking down onto the green. There were fields on both sides beyond those trees.  Rows and rows of graves.
A somewhat somber way to finish a fun filled trip.  But it was one of the things I am glad we didn't miss.

The next day we were back on a plane for our 5 hour flight back to the main land.
These boys spent a good amount of those hours fighting over who go to play games on their Dad's iphone.
Sophie spent most of her sitting hours listening to her ipod. She made it through Fablehaven on this trip.
This girl was not fun to entertain. We stuck stickers all over the seats and ourselves, read books (she liked the magazine from the airplane the best), ate snacks, napped, walked up the aisles, and played pick-a-boo with the neighbors.  5 hours is a long time to have to hold Molly. She counted as a lap child since she was under the age of 2. This is the last time we will be able to claim that one.

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