Puowaina is a volcanic crater approximately oval in shape, the rim rises 461 feet above sea level affording a view of Diamond Head, Pearl Harbor, and the city of Honolulu. The use of careful landscaping and flat grave markers has been enhanced by the impressive memorial erected by the American Battle Monuments Commission. As a site of pre-historic significance, Puowaina, has a deep religious meaning for the Hawaiian people long before Western contact with the islands in 1778. Puowaina means “Hill of Sacrifice” and this is where offenders of certain “kapu” were taken to be sacrificed. On January 4, 1949, the Punchbowl crater was established as the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific when an unknown serviceman, killed in the attack on Pearl Harbor, was the first American was buried there. The National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific is a final resting place for those whose sacrifices have preserved America’s freedoms.
This list of Hawaii’s historic properties is provided as a public service by Historic Hawaii Foundation. It is not the official list of properties designated on the Hawaii State Register of Historic Places. For official designations and determinations of eligibility, contact the State Historic Preservation Division of the Department of Land and Natural Resources of the State of Hawaii at 808-692-8015.