The National Cemetery Administration (NCA) is informing veterans and their family members that gravesites currently exist for in-ground burials at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, also referred to as the “Punchbowl,” in Honolulu, Hawaii. NCA is not “reopening” the cemetery to in-ground interments of casketed and cremated remains, as the current availability of in-ground gravesites is anticipated to be temporary. Many of these gravesites have become available due to efforts of the Department of Defense to identify the remains of previously “unknown” service members who were buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (NMCP), and the decision of the next of kin to reinter the remains at other cemeteries. Upon request at the time of need, NCA will assign these gravesites as long as the newly available space remains. Funeral homes or families can contact the cemetery direct at (808) 532- 3720 or inquire with the National Cemetery Scheduling Office at 1-800-535-1117 to inquire about availability at the time of scheduling the burial. NMCP remains open to all first inurnment requests of cremated remains for niches in the columbarium.
National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific
Veterans and their loved ones, or funeral directors acting on their behalf, can always ask if there is availability of a burial option at any “closed” national cemetery or at any national cemetery which is not open to all burial options. In-ground burial space or columbarium niche space may become available periodically due to disinterment from an existing gravesite or niche for other reasons. If burial space is available at the time of request, the cemetery will assign such gravesites or columbarium niches to other eligible veterans or family members. Since there is no way to know in advance when a gravesite may become available, please contact the cemetery or the National Cemetery Scheduling Office at 1-800-535- 1117 at the time of need to inquire whether space is available.
[Source: NAUS Weekly Update 24 Jan 2014 ++]