Travel: National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific | Honolulu, Hawaii

“The patriot’s blood is the seed of freedom’s tree.” – Thomas Campbell

I wanted to share some photos I took a few years back in 2015. I was working a case in the Punchbowl area of Honolulu and had some time to visit the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.

It was actually on Veterans Day (not Memorial Day), however I thought why not share the photos today. Honestly, it was both humbling and put life into perspective being able to visit a place where the men and women buried served America, many of them died while doing so; the sight was awe-inspiring, as are the stories of these individuals.

DSC_8641_Fotor

DSC_8637_Fotor

DSC_8640_Fotor

DSC_8639_Fotor

There’s at least 34,000 graves at Punchbowl; this includes service members, dignitaries, and politicians. Unfortunately, due to the fact we were working, I wasn’t able to see the cemetery up close and personal. Next time!

DSC_8638_Fotor

You can learn more about the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific by going to https://www.cem.va.gov/cems/nchp/nmcp.asp.

AM NIKKI KAY Signature

Dallas

It’s a pretty day here in Hawaii. Literally the sky is that bright blue with only a few scattered clouds, the sun is shining bright, and the palm trees are swaying back and forth lost in their own paradise. I’m sure you’d get lost in it too. It’s one of those days where you look out of your window or you take a second glance when walking, and you’re thankful to be alive.

I’m sure 3,698 miles away it’s a different story. A much sadder story.

Today in Dallas the funerals were held for Officer Brent Thompson, Sgt. Michael Smith, and Sr. Cpl. Lorne Ahrens. Unfortunately, I was unable to be in attendance, however I was able to watch parts of the funeral live through a feed set up by one of the officers who I volunteer with (he was able to attend the funerals in person).

It’s hard to think about how beautiful of a day it is when wives, children, parents, friends, and fellow officers have suffered an incredible loss. It’s always hardest when the world looks so beautiful and sunny and bright, and yet thousands of miles away families and friends are trying to make it through the day. It’s a sickening feeling knowing these officers are gone and an even more sickening feeling knowing that some people don’t even care.

Almost a week ago this nation suffered a blow. Five police officers killed in the line of duty. It was horrifying watching the events unfold. It was saddening. And it made me sick to my stomach. I didn’t even know what was going on at first, just that there was a shooting in Dallas. I saw it first as one of the trending topics on Facebook and then when I was in the SITROOM (Situation Room) we got word that three LODD’s (Line of Duty Deaths) had just occurred. I immediately got to work on reporting the unfolding events, as we continued to receive confirmation that more officers were expected to not survive their gunshot wounds. When the count reached five, I couldn’t believe it. My heart was absolutely broken. It still is for them. For Dallas. For the families of these brave men. For the Dallas Police Department and for Dallas Area Rapid Transit. For Chief David Brown.

It’s taken me almost a week to write a blog post about losing our brothers in blue, most likely because all I’ve been reporting on and writing news articles about is the shooting and the after-effects of what has happened since July 7th. It’s been difficult for me to put into words something that clearly shows the impact of what a difference these officers have made and how this is a loss that will always remain. My words will never do them justice. However, I’ll leave you with these parting thoughts.

Officer Brent Thompson, Sgt. Michael Smith, Sr. Cpl. Lorne Ahrens, Officer Patricio Zamarripa, and Officer Michael Krol—they will never be forgotten. The thin blue line will hold and remain strong. I personally know law enforcement officers from all over the country that made it to Dallas for the funerals; we stand together. This horrific event will not change the fact that every single day, at all hours, men and women will continue to put on their uniform and their duty belt, wear their badge proudly, and step out of the front door into a world that can be so very cruel at times to protect people from all walks of life. To uphold the law. To do what they can for people they don’t even know.

Although there is so much tragedy in this world, so much heartbreak, I still believe that this world is good.

I stand with my brothers and sisters in blue.


AM NIKKI KAY Signature