Destination: I thought Foster Garden was the only urban garden but it turns out Lili’uokalani is located right downtown as well. The property once belonged to Queen Lili`uokalani, the last reigning monarch of Hawaii. Not far from the garden is Punchbowl Crater and the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. Punchbowl used to be used as a site for human sacrifices. Construction began on the cemetery in February 1948 and it was opened to the public in July 1949.
Focus: Urban garden, Memorial, History
Soundtrack for the drive: Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Greatest Hits
Quote of the Day: The solemn pride that must be yours, to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of Freedom ~ Abraham Lincoln, Letter to Mrs. Bixby
Botanically speaking this was the least impressive of the bunch. There were a couple cool plants like this one that looks to me like a dragonfly,
and this one with some sort of seed pods dangling from it.
The garden has regal Albizias,
and some adorable birds. I think the yellow ones are called Laysan finches.
This one is a Java sparrow. They can be seen all over the place here.
What sets Lili’uokalani apart from the others is the Nu’uanu Stream and its mini waterfalls.
It was pretty rad to see this in the middle of the city.
After a stroll along the stream I drove up the hill into Punchbowl Crater where the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific is located.
Solemn and peaceful as one might imagine, there are 34,000 graves here, each with a flat granite marker.
The names of soldiers whose bodies were never recovered are etched into the walls of the memorial alongside maps and descriptions of the battles fought throughout the Pacific. The statue of Lady Columbia is meant to represent grieving mothers.
I’m glad I thought to come here and I’m thankful I’ve become much less anti-military than I was in my youth. I used to be flippant in my opinions about armies and wars. It’s taken me a lot of years to understand how disrespectful I was being to the people who lost their lives for my benefit. I refrain from talking about politics as much as possible because everything about them makes me uncomfortable. I guess I just want to say Thank You to everyone who has bravely stepped forward to fight for my rights over the entire history of time. I don’t always think it’s the best way, but I appreciate all of you who follow your hearts and your call to duty and work towards what you truly believe is right and good.