MONTEREY COUNTY, Calif. (KION) Fort Hunter Liggett is opening its doors to the public Saturday in honor of Armed Forces Day.
The event runs from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and gives members of the public the chance to speak with soldiers and army civilians. Visitors can also fire a M4 at a virtual target, check out official equipment and take a look inside the barracks.
Although the installation was first established on January 10th, 1941, during World War II, the history of the area dates back to the Salinan Indians 8,000 to 10,000 years ago. Since then, the land has seen the Spanish missions, territory changes, preparation for war, and more.
During World WarII, the installation served as an important training ground for soldiers.
"We became a training platform to prepare soldiers to deploy in World War II and serve in the European theater," said Charles Bell, Garrison Commander, United States Army, Fort Hunter Ligget.
The event also included a swearing-in ceremony for new joint service members, a ceremony that had to be postponed due to COVID.
"I'm excited for it. I'm not so nervous as I was before. I'm excited to go, I got a couple of weeks left and it's going to be a journey," said Paul Byrum, new member.
The Cultural Resources Program Manager, Lisa Cipolla, says the significance of the anniversary is more than just a number.
"It's about remembering who we are and where we came from. We don't want to forget what happened in World War II. It really orients our self and where we're going to go for the future," said Cipolla.
The installation doesn't typically open to the public, the last time was doing their 75th anniversary.