Veterans dismayed that gravesites kept under wraps
HONOLULU (AP) - Veterans organizations say the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl has burial sites available, information they say was never shared with them.
For more than two decades, word was that the cemetery was at capacity for in-ground burials. But there are actually 99 available in-ground gravesites.
The Honolulu Star-Advertiser says the graves have become available through ongoing disinterment and identification of Korean War "unknowns."
William Thompson, president of the 442nd Veterans Club, said in a Dec. 31 letter to Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki that veterans are puzzled and disturbed that the gravesites were not made known to them.
Brad Phillips, West Coast director of the VA's National Cemetery Administration, says Oahu funeral homes were notified about the grave openings.