During a visit to Pearl Harbor, there’s no shortage of opportunities to memorialize and honor the over 2400 Americans who died on December 7, 1941. From the USS Arizona Memorial program, which is included in all Pearl Harbor tours, to the USS Oklahoma Memorial, you can stop to salute the heroes of the nation. But there are also sites dedicated to the nation’s fallen service members beyond Pearl Harbor. Sites like the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, located in Punchbowl Crater.
At Punchbowl Cemetery, as it’s familiarly known, graves containing the remains of the nation’s bravest men and women from conflicts as early as the First World War lie among manicured lawns. It’s a powerful experience to visit the cemetery, which you are able to do during the posted hours. Open to the public, the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific is a powerful experience.
There’s a lot to see at Punchbowl Cemetery, which can make it feel a little overwhelming. Along with the thousands of graves, there are dedications scattered throughout the cemetery’s 112 acres including the Courts of the Missing, which lists the names of every service member who was killed in action and whose body has not been recovered or identified.
If you want a quicker overview of the National Memorial Cemetery without spending a lot of time, there are many Pearl Harbor tours that offer a drive through the grounds. Do note that we said “drive through.” While the following tours do go into the cemetery, US Department of Veterans Affairs regulations don’t allow tour vehicles to stop and let passengers get off.
Complete Pearl Harbor Experience
When it comes to being inclusive, the Complete Pearl Harbor Experience really lives up to its name: along with visits to all of the sites at Pearl Harbor, the tour also takes you on a drive through historic Honolulu, including the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Iolani Palace, and a stop at the iconic King Kamehameha Statue.
Beyond the Call to Duty Tour
The Beyond the Call to Duty Pearl Harbor tour visits the same sites as the Complete Pearl Harbor Experience, but offers luxury transportation and a buffet lunch! After seeing all of the sights at Pearl Harbor, the tour continues through Punchbowl Crater, where you can take in the beauty and serenity of the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. While most tours only provide round-trip transportation to Waikiki, the Beyond the Call to Duty Pearl Harbor tour offers a pickup option for guests staying in Ko Olina.
Remember Pearl Harbor Tour
Maybe your schedule is a little too tightly packed to allow for time to hit up every site in Pearl Harbor.The most popular Pearl Harbor tour, the Remember Pearl Harbor tour includes visits to the USS Arizona Memorial and the Battleship Missouri. Once you’ve explored the exhibits at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center, paid your respects to the men who perished aboard USS Arizona, and toured the Mighty Mo, your tour takes you through historic Honolulu, where you see the iconic ‘Iolani Palace, the Hawaii State Capitol, and Punchbowl Cemetery.
USS Arizona Memorial & Battleship Missouri Luxury Tour
The USS Arizona Memorial & Battleship Missouri Luxury tour, which features upgraded transportation and includes lunch, takes you to the USS Arizona Memorial, Battleship Missouri, and the USS Oklahoma Memorial. When you’re done at Pearl Harbor, you head toward Honolulu for a drive through of the Punchbowl Cemetery, a pass by of ‘Iolani Palace and the Hawaii State Capitol Building, and a stop at the King Kamehameha Statue. This tour is also available from Ko Olina.
Pearl Harbor & Honolulu City Tour
The Pearl Harbor and Honolulu City tour is perfect for those who just want to visit the USS Arizona Memorial and Downtown Honolulu. After experiencing the USS Arizona Memorial program, the tour takes you to the Punchbowl Cemetery for a moment to honor the nation’s fallen heroes.