Beach Walk 642R – Memorial Day in the Pacific

We originally filmed this episode for Memorial Day in 2006. But it clearly stands out as a timeless message, and represents the true magic of Beach Walks. It is all completely unscripted, no shot list, we just showed up and worked as fast as we could before the sun set. Sometimes, you know the universe is on your side.

This is one of our favorite and most powerful episodes, though you won’t be finding us at the beach. Today’s show was filmed at the Hawaii Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. 50,000 leis were donated, and over 100 young Boy Scouts (thanks for the correction Mark) placed a lei and a flag on each gravestone. I was quite stirred to be in the presence of death while smelling the sweet scent of plumeria lei. Though most of those buried here are from modern wars, this “punchbowl” of an ancient volcano was the site of Hawaiian aliÊ»i burials and human sacrifice of those who violated the kapu or taboos.

Dedicated to my dad and my friend Eric, who’s done two tours in Iraq.

Hawaiian word:
PÅ«owaina: hill of sacrifice
Kaua: war
Kapu: taboo
Maluhia: peace

Be in Touch!


  1. very well done and inspiring

  2. Susan and my dog Lexie says

    Well done and worth repeating on this most appropriate day.

  3. A new friend of mine, Patricia Martin, shared a similar story about her dad today, whose story is very similar to my Dad’s.

    You can read it here.

  4. Rox-
    I dropped in this morning thinking I’d get the usual beach walk bliss. But no. Instead I got a reminder that life is made up of good times and bad, sorrows and joys, peaceniks and warriors. Today, we honor our losses in life. Your message today inspired my own blog.
    Thanks, Rox.
    Patricia Martin

  5. Rox, you should speak to Kelley, her Pa was there in Hawaii fighting during WWII. For me, this brought tears to my eyes, my hubby could not watch it for when he was in the military he was part of the honor guard. Well, done and next year I would like to go there to pay my respects. Thank you, for showing but sometimes is forgotten.

  6. Joe Cascio says

    Dearest Rox,
    It’s hard for me to express how today’s Beachwalks moved me. Like you, I resist war, but honor the sacrifices of those, like my father, who fought in our country’s conflitcts. I think you showed that we can fight against war, yet honor the warrior who throws him or herself into the breach for the country. I hope one day people will realize that it is not the warrior we criticize, but rather those who waste their precious lives in ill-advised conflicts.

    Sincerely, your friend
    Joe C.

  7. You had to ruin it with a Second Life reference, didn’t you? ;-)

    All kidding aside, well done show.

  8. Simply beautiful…thank you.

  9. This show always generates so many private emails – I am asking people to post, because to me that act of sharing is part of the peace-making process. It’s part of bridging the gap between the peaceniks and the soldiers, it is the action we all talk about.

    @Aaron Brazell – remember darling, we filmed this 2 years ago when Second Life was a bit hotter than it is now. ;-) Thanks is much for stopping by.

    We appreciate all of you for sharing this moment with us.

  10. That was one of the most emotionally powerful things that I have seen in a very long time. It was not possible for me to watch that with dry eyes. Several years ago I was a soldier stationed at Schofield Barracks on Oahu. One of my duties was being part of a 21 gun salute squad that performed at veteran’s funerals, many of which were at Punch Bowl (National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific). My wife’s father is buried there so each time we visit Hawaii, the first thing that we do on our first full day on the island is to pick up a lei and a pair of chop sticks to keep it in place and drive her mom out to Punch Bowl to visit. I just mentioned to a friend earlier that it is the most ironically peaceful place that I know.

    I wish that Memorial Day could be for ancient memories rather than for those of our sons & daughters.

  11. Buddy 'Friendly' Wachenheimer says

    I cannot simultaneously oppose war, while commemorating the weapons of war- troops? So Memorial Day means nothing to me. I worked like I do ever Monday.

    However, the film was nicely done.


  12. Thank you so much for sharing this with me. I am so glad I didn’t miss this. What a wonderful message and what a wonderful tribute to those who’ve served.