FORT MCCLELLAN, AL (08/23/2017) (readMedia)-- The Alabama National Guard's Fort McClellan Army National Guard Training Center will be open to the public to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Fort McClellan, Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017. Fort McClellan will open its main gate (Galloway Gate) to the public at 8:30 a.m., and events will last until 3:00 p.m.
There will be vendors, static displays of military vehicles, Soldiers in historic uniforms, cannons, food trucks, post bus-tours, and more.
A celebration kick-off will begin at 9:00 a.m. to talk about the history of the post and to honor certain guests. The Army Material Command Band will play military-themed music beginning at 8:30 a.m., and will play during the kick-off.
After the opening ceremony, there will be music performances by local act Sweet Southern Comfort, contemporary Christian singer Abigail Douglas, and country music recording artist Tim McDonald.
The Women's Army Corps Chapel will be open for people to see archived items, as well as to view the documentary "The Beat of a Different Drummer", which highlights the history of the 14th Army WAC Band. There will also be members of the WAC Veteran's Association there to talk about their rich history at Fort McClellan.
Historic items will be on display at the Fort McClellan Training Center Headquarters building auditorium as well as at the Alabama Military Academy Alumni Center.
Two historic bus tours (10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.) will drive guests by areas such as the military cemetery, the post pet cemetery, Quartermaster stables, the Buckner Historic District, Silver Chapel, Remington Hall and the German/Italian cemetery.
The first 100 people through the gate will receive a free 100 year celebration T-shirt (size subject to availability), compliments of Fort McClellan Morale, Welfare, and Recreation. There will also be free bottled water provided by Fort McClellan MWR.
The Fort McClellan Training Center officially turned 100 years old on July 18, 2017. The War Department formally established Camp McClellan as a mobilization camp to train soldiers for World War I on July 18, 1917. It was one of 32 mobilization camps throughout the United States. Camp McClellan was designated as a permanent post and renamed Fort McClellan on July 1, 1929. From WWI to the current overseas efforts, Soldiers still come to Fort McClellan for training. Even though the regular army post was shut down by the Base Closure and Realignment and Commission in 1999, the Alabama National Guard maintained the title and mission both at the enclave in Anniston and at Pelham Range.
"This is a significant event for the community," said Col. Larry Vaughn, Fort McClellan garrison commander. "Fort McClellan has played such an important role in the lives of the people of Anniston and the greater Calhoun County area. It is important that we remember and acknowledge the collaboration between the military and the community with this great event."
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