POSTED: 4:30 a.m. HST, Dec 27, 2010
KAILUA-KONA, Hawaii — The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has awarded "shrine status" to the West Hawaii Veterans Cemetery.
Only three state-owned veterans cemeteries in the country have the status. The Kailua-Kona cemetery is the only one in Hawaii.
Attaining "shrine status" means a cemetery's design and features meet the National Cemetery Administration's standards. It also means the cemetery's caretakers are committed to maintain it at that level.
The 62-acre cemetery was established in 1997 but had problems with earth collapse and sinking graves early on.
The West Hawaii Veterans Cemetery Development and Expansion Association has since installed an irrigation system, added topsoil, and sodded the burial field with grass.