Fort Leonard Wood and the Memorial Grove
Fort Leonard Wood has a rich history that dates back to World War II and was named after General Leonard Wood. The United States built this Army base to train Military Police for World War II, and many soldiers have trained and served our country at Fort Leonard Wood. Many have also paid the ultimate sacrifice, and the Memorial Grove was created to honor these soldiers and make sure that they are remembered. It can be visited on base and has hundreds of names of soldiers to honor.
Backstory and Context
Fort Leonard Wood had to be built quickly as troops were scheduled to arrive in only a few weeks. The construction was completed in June 1941, 1600 buildings were built in only a matter of six months. This cost was $37 million. In March of 1941, the first of many soldiers to train at Fort Leonard Wood arrived. During just World War II, 300,000 soldiers passed through the facility.
General Leonard Wood was a recipient of the Medal of Honor, and served as a soldier and surgeon for forty years. He lead the Rough Riders in the Spanish American War, and worked with Theodore Roosevelt until his promotion. Leonard Wood served as Chief of Staff from 1910 to 1914, and then served as the Governor General of the Philippine Islands until his death in 1927.
Memorial Grove's entrance is a statue of two giant pistols leaned against each other to create an arch known as the "Gateway to the Regiment". There are thousands of stones dedicated to fallen Military Police soldiers, they create the walkway to the grove. Countless benches line the walkway, some engraved with soldiers names and some statues in order to honor MP soldiers that have sacrificed their lives.
Harne, Rick. “Memorial Grove.” MPRA, www.mpraonline.org/memorial-grove/.
“FORT LEONARD WOOD.” History, 17 Jan. 2018, www.mybaseguide.com/army/64-3596/fort_leonard_wood_history.