Punchbowl National Cemetery

Punchbowl National Cemetery

Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth. Proverbs 27:1

This was my second visit to Hawaii. Seeing Pearl Harbor, and the Valor of the Pacific Memorial, always makes me contemplate about how mortal we are.

In December of 1941, soldiers were just going about their business like usual at Pearl Harbor. The next day, nearly two thousand men lost their lives, and many were wounded, or burned severely, when the Japanese bombed the ships in the harbor.

Pearl Harbor is unique in that it looks like paradise, with its beautiful water, plants, flowers, and sunny, warm air. Yet, it was the setting for such a destructive force that took the lives of many people.

I wanted to enjoy the peace of the ocean, the scents of the flowers in the air, and see the pretty birds, but the pictures of grizzly deaths in the museum area, reminded me that the lives of many young men were cut short in one day. Some were only in their teens. They jumped into the fiery oil-filled sea to escape the hot burning metal and explosions of their ship, only to be badly burned before they could be pulled out of the water or reach shore.

In a previous post, I wrote about my husband’s relative who was a survivor of the Arizona attack in 1941. He never dreamed of the tragedy that one day could hold.

One of the inscriptions at the Punchbowl National cemetery said:

“In these gardens are recorded the names of Americans who gave their lives in the service of their country and whose earthly resting place is known only to God.”

In the cemetery, there are over thirty thousand names of men who were missing in action.”

Punchbowl National Cemetery, Oahu, Hawaii

Punchbowl National Cemetery, Oahu, Hawaii

This verse in Proverbs tells us not to think so much about tomorrow, because we do not even know if we will be here to enjoy it. Life is uncertain.

John 3:16 says that God loved us so much that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.

That verse gives us a future and a hope that we can think about when we believe in Christ.

Dear Lord, life is very uncertain. I think of the Twin Towers and ‘911’, the Titanic, the ships in Pearl Harbor, World Wars, and foreign conflicts, the building up of nuclear arms by terrorist nations, volcanoes, tornadoes, and tsunamis, deadly diseases, and other calamities, and I am propelled to You for refuge and strength. I pray for those who do not know You, that You would send workers for the harvest. Thank You for Your peace and presence, and for promising us that You would be with us always-to the end of the world. Keep me from temptation and deliver me from evil. Forgive me of my many sins, and help me to stand before You some day. In Jesus’s name, Amen.



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