Hundreds gather at Punchbowl to honor fallen service members

Hundreds gather at Punchbowl to honor fallen soldiers

Thirty-eight thousand lei draped the granite headstones at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl on Monday, as Hawaii honored the service members buried there.

Hundreds gathered in the shadow of the Honolulu memorial as Mayor Kirk Caldwell talked about the importance of commemorating sacrifice.

"It's a very chicken skin service, every time I come up here for Memorial Day, this is my third year now, I get overwhelmed with emotion to think about the stories that are told by the men and women buried here," he said.

Wreaths were placed at the base of the dedication stone in memory of those heroes, and a rifle salute followed.

Before the service came to a close, Admiral Harry Harris reminded the audience the United States is still at war and freedom must never be taken for granted.

"This time, the threat comes from a global network of terrorists who despise everything freedom stands for and who are determined to inflict as much pain and suffering as they can possibly muster on behalf of their cause," said Harris, commander U.S. Pacific Command.

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