Editors note: If interested in touring this memorial site (or the many others at the Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk) visit the Public Affairs Office (bldg. 4919) and pick up a walking-path map near the front entrance.FORT POLK, La. — Tucked off to the side of Louisiana Avenue, the Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk’s Warrior Memorial Park sits far enough from the traffic that it creates an illusion of seclusion, despite the hustle of the post’s day-to-day operations.The small stretch of road that enters the park is centered on the memorial, which is fashioned into a loop frequently used as a quick and quiet walking path by visitors. After parking to the right of the site, I chose to walk back and appreciate the full and sobering view.The Prisoner of War/Missing in Action flag, centered at the front of the memorial loop, is one of the most prominent features before entering the actual walking path. Perhaps, due to the frequent breeze during my visit, the flag happened to catch my attention repeatedly — another element that continually set a solemn tone, as I could both see it waving and hear it whipping in the wind.At the foot of the flagpole is the Global War on Terrorism memorial. This is a sleek commemoration exhibiting two pillars, filled with units and Soldiers’ names, a globe and a plaque stating, “The Global War on Terrorism monument honors the Fort Polk Soldiers, Families and civilians whose support and sacrifice will forever be remembered.”To the left sits a rose-colored marble monument dedicated to the 5th Infantry Division (mechanized) that served at Fort Polk from Sept. 21, 1975 until Nov. 24, 1992, and stone-slab commemoration for the service of the 1st Maneuver Enhancement Brigade from Sept. 16, 2007 until Sept. 15, 2015.To the right, another commemorative statue rests “In honor of the troopers and Families of the 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment that served Fort Polk from 1993 until 2005.”After considering the names and dedications at the entrance of the park, I started on the walking path toward the right. There are nine military vehicles lining the walking path, most of which served during World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam. The vehicles displayed include armored personnel carriers, howitzers, tanks, bulldozers and a scoop loader; each one has its own descriptive sign posted in front.Just behind the vehicles is a well-kept curve of various trees and hedges. The most striking foliage was the magnolia trees, showcasing their sturdy white flowers resting heavily on the branches. Their blooms stood out against the military green vehicles and the deeper, shiny green hues from the leaves.Deeper into the park, behind the established walking path that loops through the vehicle display, are the memorials for 2nd Brigade Soldiers who lost their lives and for the 5th Inf Div Soldiers who “participated in Operation Just Cause in Panama” and to their Soldiers who lost their lives.Even farther behind the loop is the monument for the heritage families; again, listed on two sleek pillars that match the ones found at the front of the park.Here are attractively worn wooden benches, sitting beneath the thick canopy, adding to that remote ambiance unique to the park.Beyond this memorial are another group of tall trees, rustic benches and a set of silhouettes, creating a historical picture of a family working the land during a time now forgotten.I got the sense that the area, the most distant section in that pocket, was built for reflection. When facing away from the road, isolated enough that the traffic sounds waned against the prevailing rhythm of nature, I was able to connect to that different time. I mulled over the possible realities of all of the heritage families’ daily lives; all of the past Soldiers’ sacrifices and how they resulted in the Fort Polk I know today. I was sure, then, that this quiet place was constructed for contemplation. It stands so we can remember how and why we, the Fort Polk community, stand today.