Punchbowl receives new ADA complaint chairlifts

| November 23, 2011 | 0 Comments
Sen. Max Cleland (in blue), secretary, ABMC, assisted by his personal aide John Marshall, uses the new chairlift at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl for the first time, Nov. 8.

Sen. Max Cleland (in blue), secretary, ABMC, assisted by his personal aide John Marshall, uses the new chairlift at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl for the first time, Nov. 8.

Story and Photo by
Joseph Bonfiglio
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-Honolulu District Public Affairs

HONOLULU — Officials from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the American Battle Monuments Commission, and the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific at Punchbowl here, recently dedicated four new chairlifts, completed by the Corps, to make the memorial compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“It’s a great honor to represent the Corps today and share this special moment with our friends and partners with the commission and Punchbowl,” said Lt. Col. Douglas Guttormsen, commander, USACE-Honolulu District, at the dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony.

After a blessing, Sen. Max Cleland, secretary, ABMC, became the first person to officially use the new chairlifts. He rode up the four chairlifts to view all five levels of the memorial, something that wasn’t readily possible for disabled persons prior to the project’s completion.

Cleland and the other ABMC commissioners also received briefings on how the ABMC, Punchbowl and the Corps are working together to add Vietnam War maps and descriptions to the memorial in 2012.

According to Guttormsen, USACE originally constructed the cemetery after World War II and is committed to work with the ABMC and Punchbowl to make the memorial grounds fully accessible to the public.

The cemetery first opened to the public July 19, 1949. It receives more than five million visitors annually and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The memorial commemorates 18,096 American World War II service members missing from the Pacific, excluding those from the southwest Pacific; 8,200 Americans missing from the Korean War; and 2,504 Americans missing from the Vietnam War.

Galleries containing mosaic maps and descriptions of the achievements of the American armed forces in the Pacific regions in World War II and in the Korean War flank the memorial chapel.

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