Many who visit here come for the beauty of the beaches, the variety of water-sports and activities, and to relax and soak up the sun in our warm tropical climate. However, Oahu has much more to offer, not the least of which is Oahu’s Military History. Almost all who visit are familiar with the USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor and many veterans come to pay their respects. Other visitors simply want a chance to view this solemn tomb under the sea. Other military sights and memorials to visit at Pearl Harbor range from battleships to submarines to aircraft, mostly having to do with World War II.
Yet another spectacular memorial to our fallen soldiers is the National Cemetery of the Pacific, located just north of downtown Honolulu, in the extinct volcano called Punchbowl. It has been considered sacred land since the days when Hawaii was a sovereign nation. A heiau (temple) existed here and many ancient Hawaiians were buried here. Now they share this beautiful setting with over 38,000 American soldiers, many of whom died during World War II. Here you will find a serenity among the graves, leading to a majestic marble staircase, and a huge statue of Lady Columbia (representative of all grieving mothers). From this vantage point you will also find one of the most panoramic views of Honolulu!
Even our military memorials are places of beauty not to be missed, so when you are planning your itinerary don’t forget Oahu’s rich military history!