The Navajo Nation, the Department of the Interior and others are recognizing the Navajo Code talkers this Tuesday with public celebrations and announcements on social media in recognition of Navajo Code Talker Day.
The Navajo Nation Office of the president and vice president said this year’s celebration would be held at the Navajo Nation Fairgrounds and the Navajo Nation Veterans Memorial Park. Festivities of the day included a laying of the wreath ceremony, 21-gun salute, guest speakers, vendor booths and more.
This afternoon there will be a Gourd Dance at the Navajo Nation Veterans Memorial Park. Erny Zah will be the master of ceremonies. The Navajo Nation Museum will host a film screening of Navajo Code Talkers: Journey of Remembrance at 3 p.m. The documentary was taped on locations in Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Saipan, Guam and Tinian.
The Department of the Interior released a statement to the public as well as a video on YouTube recognizing the Navajo Code Talkers.
Shortly after the United States entered World War II, the Marine Corps began recruiting and training Navajo men to develop and use an unbreakable military code based on their language.
Fighting in the battles of Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Tinian and Saipan, Navajo Code Talkers saved lives by signaling enemy movements, transmitting orders and coordinating attacks under fire. Despite earning the respect of their fellow soldiers and marines, Code Talkers received no recognition on the home front. We honor them now on August 14 -- Navajo Code Talkers Day.
In December 2006, the Navajo Nation Council established Aug. 14 of each year as Navajo Nation Code Talkers Day, a recognized tribal holiday. The day was selected in recognition of a proclamation signed in July, 1982 by President Ronald Reagan as a day for the code talkers.
According to the National Museum of the American Indian, more than 400 Navajo men were recruited by the U.S. Marines during World War II to develop a military code in their native language to transmit military messages. The Native American Code Talkers of World War II, which also included tribal members from other Native nations, is recognized as the only unbroken code in military history.