One of the grand traditions of our area is the annual National Rifle and Pistol Championships at Camp Perry. One of the even grander traditions of the National Matches is the First Shot Ceremony that opens the matches. Monday’s event was no different.
Lt. Gen. William E. Ingram, Director of the Army National Guard, made his remarks noting the history of Camp Perry and these shooting events. He noted how Camp Perry and the National Matches were begun under the leadership of then President Theodore Roosevelt, a former army officer himself who led a famous charge up San Juan Hill. He also took note of the poor shooting skills of the men in his charge. Ingram noted that President Roosevelt recognized the need for a continuing program to improve shooting skills of both the military and the civilian population.
Ingram was then handed a classic World War II vintage M1 Garand and fired the first shot downrange opening the 2012 National Rifle and Pistol Championships.