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Treasure The Legacy

Treasure The Legacy

Navajo Code Talkers Day

The Navajo Code Talkers whose ranks exceeded 400 during the course of World War II in the Pacific Theater took part in every assault the United States Marines conducted from 1942 to 1945. They served in all six Marine divisions, Marine Raider battalions and Marine parachute units, transmitting messages by telephone and radio in their native language — a code that the Japanese never broke. The Navajo Code Talkers served in the United States Marine Corps for America and for the world with integrity.

It took 37 years for the United States government to acknowledge the war efforts of the Navajo Code Talkers in World War II, when President Ronald Reagan in 1982 designated August 14 as National Navajo Code Talkers Day.

On August 14, 2014, the Descendants of the Navajo Code Talkers will commemorate the legacy of these brave young Navajo men who answered the call to duty and helped devise the unbreakable and undecipherable military code based on the Navajo language only spoken on Navajo lands and most importantly assisted the United States win battle after battle as it fought to retake the Pacific from the Japanese. During World War II, when secret orders had to be given over the phone these boys talked to one another in Navajo. Practically no one in the world understood Navajo, an unwritten language of extreme complexity, except another Navajo. The code that was developed was so complex that not even another Navajo taken prisoner by the Japanese and under threat of torture could penetrate it. Their code was reliable and secure.

It is important that the accomplishment of this group of men is never forgotten because it was their language that changed the tide of the war. These Marines were young boys when they enlisted and some of them lied about their age. If it weren't for them, the United States would not have won World War II. Battle-ready radiomen were still being produced when Japan surrendered in August 1945. August 14 is a reminder of the importance of the Navajo language and the code talker legacy. They saved thousands and thousands of Marines in World War II. On Iwo Jima, Navajo Code Talkers transmitted messages from the beach to division and Corps commands afloat early on D-day, and after the division commands came ashore from division ashore to Corps afloat.  "Were it not for the Navajo Code Talkers, the Marines would never have taken Iwo Jima and other places."

The courage of these warriors and the extraordinary value of their wartime service to our Nation will always be honored. Language is the most effective means we have to transmit values, beliefs, and collective memories from one generation to the next. "We need to preserve our language, culture and traditions." We must work to preserve the rich, ancient languages used to preserve our freedom… Let us treasure their legacy.

On National Navajo Code Talkers Day, all Americans are encouraged to join in commemorating the Navajo Code Talkers, a National Treasure, by taking a moment to pray for all our war heroes and the brave military men and women who protect all our people, our freedom and our land today.

Parade (staging at Navajo Nation Museum Parking Lot) will start at 9:15 a.m. If you will be in the parade, please arrive no later than 8:30 a.m. A welcome prayer will be held at 9:00 a.m. Parade ends at Memorial Park. The parade is free and open to all veterans, auxiliary members, color guards and marching units, and the wearing of uniforms is encouraged.

At approximately 10:00 a.m., the commemoration ceremony, held at Navajo Veterans' Park, will begin with presentation of colors, wreath laying, remembrance/reverence and speeches. Lunch will be provided.

Gourd dance is scheduled.

To enter the parade, please contact Michael 928-871-6763.

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