The century mark for Aberdeen Proving Ground [Editorial]

APG was born out of the fog of the "Great War" that was also called "the War to End All Wars."

Aberdeen Proving Ground has been such a vital part of Harford County for so long, it's hard to imagine our community without it.

Anyone whose family has spent any time living in the county is undoubtedly related to someone or knows someone who made, or still makes, a good living because of APG.

Its impact on Harford County is immeasurable. That's why it was a no-brainer for the post to be honored at the annual Harford County Night in Annapolis last week. It's such an important part of Harford County living that it could arguably be honored each year at such an event.

The reason it was chosen is 2017 is its 100th anniversary. APG was born out of the fog of the "Great War" that was also called "the War to End All Wars." When it didn't actually end was, it was just renamed World War I.

Along with APG, the Harford County powers that be in Annapolis, also honored the Jones Junction car dealership which is in its 100th year, too.

Surviving for a century is an extraordinary accomplishment for anything or anyone. APG and Jones Junction are no exceptions.

"If a soldier uses a technology to shoot, to move, to communicate or for intelligence, chances are that it was either developed, tested or fielded by an APG organization," Larry M. Muzzelo said at last Wednesday's Harford Night. Muzzelo is the deputy to Maj. Gen. Bruce T. Crawford, APG's commanding general.

APG has about 21,000 civilian and military workers, plus contractors. It is Harford County's largest employer, bar none.

The story of Jones Junction has more modest beginnings than the federal government looking for a big place to support the effort in World War I and quickly building APG.

In 1917, Columbus M. Jones started a Ford repair business in Fig, N.C., that would ultimately become Jones Junction. The business grew and moved to Maryland, opening as a repair shop and gas station in Conowingo in 1938.

Jones Junction has grown into a sprawling complex occupying a huge corner at the intersection of Harford Road and Route 1. It employs 670 people and sold 17,000 vehicles – new, used and wholesale - last year, according to a video tribute shown at last week's celebration.

It was great to start the new year with a formal tribute to two Harford County economic cornerstones. We add our congratulations as the celebrations and tributes are bound to continue throughout 2017.

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