6 Amazing Facts about the Punch Bowl in Hawaii

Punch Bowl Hawaii

If you’re interested in Hawaii’s natural beauty, volcanic landscapes, and military history, you might want to pay a visit to the Punch Bowl near Honolulu. Officially known as the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, the Punch Bowl commemorates over 80,000 military personnel who either lost their lives or went missing in wars such as WWII and the Korean War. The best way to learn about the cultural and historical significance of the Punchbowl is to join one of our guided tours.

At Pearl Harbor Tours Oahu, we specialize in crafting unique, engaging, and personalized tours to the most iconic historical, natural, and cultural attractions in Hawaii. Below, we shed light on six amazing facts about the Punch Bowl to give you a sneak preview into what you can expect to learn on one of our tours.

Fascinating Facts about the Punch Bowl in Hawaii

From its ancient geological origins to its natural splendor and conservation efforts, here are a few fascinating facts about the Punch Bowl in Honolulu:

1. Geological origins

Geology of the Punchbowl Cemetery

The Punch Bowl lies inside an ancient volcanic crater called the Puowaina that was formed over 75,000 years ago during a period of intense volcanic activity on the island of Oahu. Many people think that the shape of the crater resembles a punchbowl, which is where it’s nickname comes from.

2. Historical Significance

While the Punch Bowl was once used by Hawaiian royalty as a training ground, it took on a more solemn role following WWII. In 1949, the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific was officially designated inside the Punchbowl crater. This veteran’s cemetery is the final resting place of around 53,000 military personnel who lost their lives during WWI, WWII, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.

3. The Courts of the Missing

Located within the Punch Bowl, the Courts of the Missing commemorate around 29,000 soldiers who went missing during WWII, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.

4. Diverse Faith Sections

The Punch Bowl is home to separate sections to allow people with various religious affiliations to pay their respects to the fallen, reflecting the diversity within the US military. In addition to Christian and Jewish sections, there are also areas dedicated to non-religious burials, creating a respectful and inclusive atmosphere.

5. Strict Conservation Measures

While the Punch Bowl is an extinct volcano – i.e., it isn’t expected to erupt again – it’s still situated on an island that experiences a lot of volcanic activity. As a result, this cemetery is conserved and maintained to meticulously high standards to protect its natural environment and historical significance.

6. Panoramic Views

View of Honolulu from the Punchbowl Crater

While the Punch Bowl is a place to reflect, it’s also one of the best vantage points on Oahu, providing panoramic views of Honolulu, the surrounding area, and the Pacific Ocean from its summit.

Book a Tour of the Punch Bowl in Hawaii

Whether you’re looking for culture, history, or nature, you won’t regret a visit to the poignant site of the Punch Bowl cemetery near Honolulu. As mentioned above, the Punch Bowl gives you the chance to pay your respects to over 50,000 fallen soldiers plus nearly 30,000 personnel who went missing in action. It’s also the final resting place of famous names, politicians, and more. If you want to learn more than just the most important facts about the Punch Bowl, join one of our guided tours. Give us a call if you want to know more details about our amazing excursions.