One hundred years ago, at the end of summer 1917 — just a few months after the United States had declared war on Germany —the first troops began arriving at Camp Lewis for training. To mark that momentous occasion, present-day Joint Base Lewis-McChord is celebrating its centennial anniversary in style.
In the months and weeks leading up to the anniversary, all JBLM events — like the July 4 Freedom Fest as well as assorted historic walks, bike rides, and runs — will be branded with the centennial logo and feature guest speakers and signage to recall and celebrate the events of the past 100 years.
Though closed throughout last year, the Lewis Army Museum located off Interstate 5 at exit 120 reopened just in time for the celebration. Department of Defense cardholders and civilians alike can visit the museum (with a base visitor’s pass), walk through the historical static displays outside, or journey inside, where they will be greeted by newly constructed exhibits, full-scale dioramas, and interactive features.
All this will culminate with a commemoration event beginning at 4 p.m. on Aug. 18 at Watkins Field which is only open to DoD cardholders and their guests. The good times will keep on rolling on Sept. 2, when the public is invited to board tour buses which will depart the Lewis Army Museum every two hours, led by guides in period clothing describing the historical sites throughout the installation. Guests will return to the museum to enjoy bites from local food trucks. Reservations for the bus tour are required, RSVP here.
For more information about the centennial event, visit myjblm.cityoflakewood.us, or look for Joint Base Lewis-McChord on Facebook.