Placed by Wreaths Across America
(Please double Click on any of the photos for a closer look)
It took my friend Della who lives in Oregon to send me photos of The National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl Cemetery) to find out about the placement of some twelve hundred and eighty eight Christmas Wreaths on Veterans graves.
They had been placed on the graves on December 4 but I did not find out until Christmas day. I went today to photograph them in hopes that they would still be there. They were. A bit faded for the sun but still beautiful and touching non the less.
I had been walking throughout the cemetery taking photos when in the distance I heard taps being played. I thought maybe it was a recording that came on with all the displays that were around. Then I saw one of the workers remove his hat and stand at attention. I noticed off on a knoll a fueneral in progress. I was suddenly slammed back to reality.
As beautiful as the wreaths were there would never have been a need for them had it not been for the sacrifice of thousands here buried.
I remember when I was married and my husband telling me how his father worked around the clock in Punchbowl never being able to take time off. They had so many bodies to bury during the bombing of Pearl Harbor that his father said they slept in coffins when ever they had time to catch a few winks.
You are looking at only a little over a thousand bodies where these wreaths are placed. The cemetery spreads out over what seems like miles with the buried Veterans not covered by the wreaths.
Looking out towards Honolulu from the top of the Memorial
As I stopped to look at two closely placed wreaths I noticed that they were the graves of a father who had fought and came home and a son who fought but did not. It was touching and sad. Looking all around me at such beauty and such waste. All the sacrifice, all the tragedy.
The millions of tears shed, the emptyness and loss. Why? Why does man have to be so greedy. Wars are fought over greed. Nothing more. When will we learn. All the beauty and all the wreaths in the world will never cover that over.
But for one moment the beauty of all those red ribbons reflecting can make you forget, can make you grateful that somebody cared.
You can go to this site if you would like to read more about the placing of the wreaths. Wreaths Across America.