Even though there was no big Memorial Day ceremony with the mayor, and the usual sea of American flags and lei placed by Boy Scouts on every grave was missing due to COVID-19 concerns, Punchbowl cemetery was filled all day long Monday with arriving families who individually refused to forget the sacrifices of the veterans interred there.
“So many people that came out today,” observed Mai Huynh, who visited the grave of her 47-year-old Navy husband, Long Huynh, who died in a motorcycle accident in 2013. “I guess we make up for the flags — flowers making up for the flags.”
Annual Memorial Day observances at Punchbowl and Hawaii State Veterans Cemetery were canceled due to COVID-19 and social distancing constraints.
But individual and some group efforts carried on at Punchbowl. The Pyramid Rock Young Marines out of the Kaneohe Bay base placed single roses of varying colors on the graves of 1,250 mostly World War II veterans in the center section of Punchbowl.
John DiGiovanni, unit commander for the age-8-through-high-school group that follows the Marine Corps ethos of honor, courage and commitment, and also emphasizes a drug-free lifestyle and citizenship, said five families each placed 250 roses at differing times to maintain social distancing. Read more >>
By William Cole
Honolulu Star Advertiser - May 26, 2020