TRENTON, N.J. -- New Jersey Lieutenant Governor and Secretary of State Kim Guadagno commemorated the 100th anniversaries of the creation of Camp Dix and America's entry into World War I during a centennial commemoration April 6 at the War Memorial here.
The event was hosted by the New Jersey Historical Commission to honor the contributions of the nearly 140,000 New Jerseyans who served during the First World War, many of whom attended basic combat training at the newly formed Camp Dix.
"Today, on the 100th anniversary of the United States' entry into the 'Great War,' it is fitting for us to recall and salute those from every service and station from New Jersey who contributed to the Allied victory," said Guadagno, whose son serves in the Air Force. "Let us honor all those who have rendered the highest service any New Jerseyan and any American can offer, those who have fought for our security and our freedom, then and now."
Serving alongside Guadagno as members of the event's official party were Air Force Brig. Gen. Michael L. Cunniff, adjutant general of New Jersey, and Army Col. Martin F. Klein, deputy commander of JBMDL and commander of Army Support Activity, Fort Dix.
"In a few short months, Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst will recognize the centennial anniversary of Camp Dix, and in doing so will celebrate 100 years of service to our nation," said Klein, who explained that Camp Dix was one of 16 camps created in order to mobilize Americans to deploy overseas and fight in the war. Camp Dix became Fort Dix following the war and experienced various changes and enhancements throughout the decades until it underwent its most drastic change in 2009.
"After decades of serving alongside our brothers and sisters from McGuire Air Force Base and Lakehurst Naval Air Engineering Station, we formalized our bond by becoming our nation's only multi-component, tri-service joint base," he said. "On any given day, you can see the Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen who possess tremendous capabilities that dominate the land, air, sea and cyber domains, all led by caring and capable leaders from across multiple specialties."
JBMDL is the second-largest employer in New Jersey, second only to the state government. More than 42,000 active-duty and reserve-component service members, civilian employees and family members work and reside on the base.
"This is the story of our base -- your base -- which proudly stands, now for 100 years, alongside a community that has never wavered in its support given to Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen serving in the great state of New Jersey on behalf of our nation," Klein said.