Makiki (Barack Obama)

Makiki (Barack Obama)


President Barack Obama was born in the shadow of the Punchbowl, the 100,000 year old extinct crater which contains the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. Originally named “Puowaina,” or Hawaiian for “hill of sacrifice,” the Punchbowl is located in the area of Makiki, northeast of downtown Honolulu, is bounded on the north by Round Top Drive/Makiki Heights Drive and on the south by the Lunalilo Freeway (H1), on the east by Punahou Street and the west by Pensacola Street.

President Obama graduated from the private Punahou High School while he lived in an apartment with his maternal grandparents, Madelyn and Stanley Dunham. Other notable graduates of Punahou are actresses Joan Blondell and Kelly Preston, Olympic gold medal swimmer and actor Buster Crabbe, “Dancing with the Stars” judge, Carrie Ann Inaba, LPGA winner Michelle Wie, and Sanford Dole, first Governor of Hawaii.

Above the Punahou School is a hike up Makiki Heights, through a bamboo forest to a spectacular view of Diamond Head just before reaching the summit. From top the Reef Runway of the Honolulu Airport stretches out in the distance.

As mentioned above, the Punchbowl holds the National Cemetery of the Pacific, the location of more than 40,000 U.S. military graves, including those of World War II correspondent Ernie Pyle and Ellison S. Onizuka, the Hawaiian astronaut who was killed in the 1986 Challenger space-shuttle disaster, Clara H. Nelson, also known as “Hilo Hattie,” the famous Hawaiian performer, as well as President Obama‘s grandfather, Stanley Dunham. Ernie Pyle was one out of five war dead interred when the cemetery opened on July 19, 1949. Besides marked graves, 28,788 Americans missing in action are honored with their names etched on white stone tablets in the Courts of the Missing. The National Cemetery of the Pacific honors the dead from World War II, Korea and Vietnam. The Punchbowl, “Puowaina,” or “hill of sacrifice” in Hawaiian, the is a fitting testament to the sacrifice of the men and women of the United States military.




Cloudy
75°
Cloudy