The weather on Lake Erie couldn't have been more beautiful for the First Shot Ceremony, marking the beginning of the 2009 National Matches at Camp Perry. Hundreds gathered to witness the annual event and listen to keynote speaker Brigadier General Melvin Spiece, United States Marine Corps.
The event began with a smaller ceremony to dedicate the new Camp Perry Memorial Plaza, given by the Friends of Camp Perry. Tom Brown, past President of the Friends of Camp Perry gave the remarks to dedicate the area.
As the Ohio Army National Guard Band played, a host of special guests walked to their seats in front of Rodriguez Range. A Blackhawk helicopter soon appeared overhead, with three soldier parachuting out of the aircraft. As they drifted towards the earth, the entire crowd watched in awe. One of the soldiers brought the American flag to the ceremony, and the Lorian High School Navy JROTC Color Guard hoisted the colors towards the sky as the National Anthem played.
Once the colors had been raised, CMP Director Gary Anderson took to the microphone to welcome the crowd and introduce guests of honor including NRA President Ron Schmeits, Kayne Robinson, Executive Director of General Operations, and NRA Board Members Dennis Willing, Tim Powell, and Dr. Dave Bennett.
Anderson then introduce General Spiece, who delivered his remarks to the group before heading to the firing line. Assisted by Anderson, General Spiece donned a shooting jacket before lifting an M1 Garand and firing the first shot of the 2009 National Matches.
Check out the slideshow above of photos from the event, and come back to NRAblog tomorrow for more news and photos from the 2009 National Matches!