Island of Molokai

Molokai

Area: 673.4 km²
Population: 7,404 (2000)
Highest elevation: 4,961 ft (1,512.1 m)
Largest settlement: Kaunakakai

History

Molokai is a Hawaiian island in the central Pacific. Molokai was long inhabited by self-sufficient taro growers and fishermen. In the 18th century the kingdom of Oahu gained control over Molokai; its rule lasted until 1785, when warriors from Maui and Hawaii islands invaded and separately ruled the island. Hawaiian chief Kamehameha I invaded in 1795 and subordinated the population as part of his effort to unify the Hawaiian Islands. Christian missionaries arrived on Molokai in the 1830s. A large ranch was established by Kamehameha V, but this destroyed much of the island’s plant life and fishing ponds.

By the 1860s a colony had been begun for victims of leprosy (Hansen disease), and this led to the forced resettlement of many of the island’s natives, particularly from the Kalaupapa Peninsula, in the 1860s and 1890s. The Hawaiian Homes Commission Act of 1921 encouraged homesteading and resettlement on Molokai. Lack of water slowed development, but after 1923, with the growth of the pineapple industry, small villages grew up on the plateau.

The economy of the island suffered a setback in the 1970s and 1980s when the pineapple growers, facing stiff competition from abroad, closed down their operations. Agriculture on the island is now more diversified, with seed corn, coffee and sweet potatoes among the leading exports. Kaunakakai, the chief village, is on the south coast and has a small harbor.

Halawa Valley

Halawa Valley, valley, northeastern Molokai island, Hawaii, U.S. On the northeastern flank of Kamakou summit, it is a deep, verdant gorge 1.75 miles long and 0.5 mile wide.

 

Archaeological evidence dates habitation in the area from c. ad 650, which makes it one of the oldest Hawaiian settlements. The area possesses one of the most complete collections of ancient residential sites, more than a dozen heiaus (ceremonial and religious structures), and a large-scale irrigation system.

It is believed to be the longest continually occupied site in Hawaii. In the 13th and 14th centuries, it was one of the most densely populated parts of the Hawaiian Islands.

One of the few areas in eastern Molokai suited to agriculture and renowned for the taro root grown there, Halawa Valley supported hundreds of Hawaiians until disastrous tidal waves (1946 and 1957) destroyed most of the buildings and much of the vegetation. It is now occupied by a small number of fishermen and farmers, and it is largely a recreational area (hiking, surfing, fishing).

Hipuapua Falls and Moaula Falls

Hipuapua Falls drops about 500 feet. It is at the end end of the valley, is the area’s highest waterfall; also at the end of the valley is Moaula Falls – 250 feet. Legend says the pool below Moaula contains a moo, a giant lizardlike creature.

Hipuapua and Moa'ula Waterfalls

Hipuapua and Moa’ula Waterfalls

Hipuapua and Moa'ula Waterfalls

Hipuapua and Moa’ula Waterfalls

Leper Colony at Kalaupapa

Kalaupapa Peninsula, also called Makanalua Peninsula, peninsula on the northern shore of Molokai island, Hawaii, U.S. Occupying a 5-square-mile (13-square-km) plateau unsuited to agriculture, the peninsula is isolated from the rest of the island by 2,000-foot (600-metre) cliffs.  The panorama below was taken from the clifftop Kalaupapa Lookout in Palaau State Park.

 

 

It was formed more than 200,000 years ago from the flows of lava from nearby Pu‘u‘uao. For some 900 years it was the site of an ancient Hawaiian agricultural village, whose major crops were taro and sweet potatoes. Archaeological evidence has revealed a once densely populated settlement containing many religious sites.

Kalawao village, on the peninsula’s east side, is now abandoned but was the site of the original “leper colony” established by King Kamehameha V in 1866; to effect a quarantine, native Hawaiians were relocated from the area (the remainder were removed in 1895, after the medical facilities were moved from Kalawao to the western side of the peninsula).

From 1873 to 1889, Father Damien, a Belgian missionary, administered to the physical and spiritual needs of the lepers on the peninsula; his example drew many helpers to the colony. The entire peninsula was occupied by the state leprosarium until 1969, when Hawaii’s isolation laws were abolished.

The colony is still home to many surviving victims of leprosy (Hansen disease), and access to the peninsula is restricted. Kalaupapa (meaning “Flat Plain”) was designated a national historical park in 1980. The district is called Kalawao county but has no formal government and is represented in the state legislature as part of Maui county.

South Molokai Panorama

 

Punchbowl Cemetery

Punchbowl Cemetery – National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific

Few national cemeteries can compete with the dramatic natural setting of the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. Commonly knows as Punchbowl Cemetery or Punchbowl Memorial, the bowl was formed some 75,000 to 100,000 years ago during the Honolulu period of secondary volcanic activity. A crater resulted from the ejection of hot lava through cracks in the old coral reefs which, at the time, extended to the foot of the Koolau Mountain Range.

Punchbowl Cemetary Virtual Tour on Memorial Day

Panorama

Dave took his panoramic pole when visited Punchbowl on Memorial Day with our 4 Year Old.  These pictures were taken after the official memorial day ceremonies had ended.

Punchbowl Memorial History

Punchbowl Cemetery

Punchbowl Cemetery

During the late 1890s, a committee recommended that the Punchbowl become the site for a new cemetery to accommodate the growing population of Honolulu. The idea was rejected for fear of polluting the water supply and the emotional aversion to creating a city of the dead above a city of the living

punchbowl-cemetery1

Punchbowl Cemetery

Fifty years later, Congress authorized a small appropriation to establish a national cemetery in Honolulu with two provisions: that the location be acceptable to the War Department, and that the site would be donated rather than purchased. In 1943, the governor of Hawaii offered the Punchbowl for this purpose.

Punchbowl-Cemetery

Punchbowl Cemetery

The $50,000 appropriation proved insufficient, however, and the project was deferred until after World War II. By 1947, Congress and veteran organizations placed a great deal of pressure on the military to find a permanent burial site in Hawaii for the remains of thousands of World War II servicemen on the island of Guam awaiting permanent burial.

Subsequently, the Army again began planning the Punchbowl cemetery; in February 1948 Congress approved funding and construction began.

Punchbowl Cemetery

Punchbowl Cemetery

Prior to the opening of the cemetery for the recently deceased, the remains of soldiers from locations around the Pacific Theater including Wake Island and Japanese POW camps were transported to Hawaii for final interment.

The first interment was made Jan. 4, 1949. The cemetery opened to the public on July 19, 1949, with services for five war dead: an unknown serviceman, two Marines, an Army lieutenant and one civilian noted war correspondent Ernie Pyle. Initially, the graves at National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific were marked with white wooden crosses and Stars of David like the American cemeteries abroad in preparation for the dedication ceremony on the fourth anniversary of V-J Day.

Eventually, over 13,000 soldiers and sailors who died during World War II would be laid to rest in the Punchbowl.

Punchbowl Cemetery

Punchbowl Cemetery

Despite the Army’s extensive efforts to inform the public that the star- and cross-shaped grave markers were only temporary, an outcry arose in 1951 when permanent flat granite markers replaced them. A letter from the Quartermaster General to Senator Paul Douglas in December 1952, explained that while individual markers are inscribed according to the appropriate religious faith:

Crosses do not mark the graves of the dead of our country in other national cemeteries. No cross marks the burial of our revered Unknown Soldier. From Arlington to Golden Gate, from Puerto Rico to Hawaii, the Government’s markers in national cemeteries for all our hero dead are of the traditional designs'[s]ome are upright and some are flat. None is in the form of a religious emblem.

Punchbowl Cemetery's Unknown Soldier Grave

Punchbowl Cemetery’s Unknown Soldier Grave

The National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific was the first such cemetery to install Bicentennial Medal of Honor headstones, the medal insignia being defined in gold leaf. On May 11, 1976, a total of 23 of these were placed on the graves of medal recipients, all but one of whom were killed in action.

The Punchbowl has become one of the area’s most popular tourist destinations. More than five million visitors come to the cemetery each year to pay their respects to the dead and to enjoy the panoramic view from the Punchbowl. One of the most breathtaking views of the Island of Oahu can be found while standing at the highest point on the crater’s rim.

Punchbowl-Memorial-View

Punchbowl Memorial View

In August 2001, about 70 generic unknown markers for the graves of men known to have died during the attack on Pearl Harbor were replaced with markers that included USS Arizona after it was determined they perished on this vessel.

In addition, new information that identified grave locations of 175 men whose graves were previously marked as unknown resulted in the installation of new markers in October 2002.

The National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.

Monuments and Memorials

The National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific contains a memorial pathway that is lined with a variety of memorials that honor America’s veterans from various organizations. As of 2008, there were 56 such memorials throughout the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific’most commemorating soldiers of 20th-century wars, including those killed at Pearl Harbor.

Historical information from U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.

You may like – Pearl Harbor

Hawaiian Railway Society: Parlor Car 64

Hawaiian Railway Society: Parlor Car 64

In 1900, Oahu Railway & Land Co. founder, Benjamin F. Dillingham, had Parlor/Observation Car No. 64 designed and built especially for himself. No. 64 was the showpiece of the OR&L’s rolling stock.

Built in Honolulu at a cost of $4,388.24, it had a double-size rear platform surrounded by ornate iron grill work and protected from the sun by fluted awnings.

Oak, mahogany and birds eye maple created an interior of luxury. The parlor car was fitted with a galley, lavatory, washstand and sideboard. It was used frequently by the OR&L for visiting dignitaries. The most notable guests were members of the Hawaiian royal family. The observation platform offered guests a chance to feel the cool trade winds, as well as giving them a better view of the landscape.

No. 64 has been restored and is available for charter.

The Locomotive 302

One of Hawaiian Railway’s operational locomotives, this 300 horsepower Whitcomb diesel electric is used to pull the passenger and work trains.

Built: 1944 Weight: 45 tons B-B. Donated by the military in Hawaii.

About Hawaiian Railway Society

The Hawaiian Railway Society works to save Hawaii’s rich railroad history. This educational, non-profit organization was able to get the remaining stretch of track on Oahu (from Ewa to Nanakuli) placed on the State and National Registers of Historic Sites.  Visit their website here.

 

Destination Photography by PanaViz

Pearl Harbor 70th Anniversary Commemoration

We were honored to participate in the 70th Anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor in 2011.  History records that 2,390 service members and 49 civilians were killed and the U.S. was dragged into World War II.

We share our memories of the day via interactive panoramas here.

360 Virtual Tour

Pearl Harbor Virtual Tour

Now it is time to remember, contemplate and learn. We were honored to be present at the 70th anniversary commemoration of the infamous attack on Pearl Harbor. For many of the frail Japanese and American veterans gathered here, this was a final milestone for those who survived the battle on Dec. 7, 1941.

With most members in their 90s, the national Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, disbanded on Dec. 31. Consider, if youngest survivor at Pearl Harbor was 16, then hew would 87 now, and most sailors were older.

The National Park Service and Navy Region Hawaii hosted the 70th Anniversary Pearl Harbor Day Commemoration on December 7, 2011 on the back lawn of the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center. The venue looks directly out on the USS Arizona Memorial situated in Pearl Harbor, approximately half a mile away.

The ceremony included military band music, morning colors, a traditional Hawaiian blessing, a rifle salute by members of the armed services, wreath presentations, echo taps, and recognition of the men and women who survived that December 7, 1941 and those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

At 7:55 a.m., the exact moment the Japanese attack began 70 years ago, a moment of silence was observed. A U.S. Navy ship rendered honors to the USS Arizona followed by a “missing man” formation flight over the Memorial.

Pearl Harbor Attack 70th Anniversary Commemoration

Pearl Harbor Attack, 70th Anniversary

Pearl Harbor Survivors and World War II Veterans, along with their families and friends from around the nation, joined more than 3,000 distinguished guests and the general public for the annual observance of the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.

Pearl Harbor Anniversary Commemoration

Commemoration Ceremonies

Pearl Harbor Survivors and World War II Veterans, along with their families and friends from around the nation, joined more than 3,000 distinguished guests and the general public for the annual observance of the 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.

pearl-harbor-anniversary

Honoring the Aging Veterans.

The venue looks directly out on the USS Arizona Memorial situated in Pearl Harbor, approximately half a mile away.

Pearl Harbor Anniversary Commemoration

Overlooks Arizona Memorial and The Battleship Missouri.

Rest

Many veterans who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country were laid to rest at Punchbowl Cemetery, National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.

Punchbowl Cemetery, National MemorialCemetery of the Pacific

 

Of the estimated 60,000 men and women in the military stationed on Oahu on that day, only a few thousand survive today. Many of them are laid to rest at National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, commonly know as Punchbowl.

You may like to read about the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific here.

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