Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Navajo Code Talkers
I was listening to the radio today and heard a report about the Navajo Code Talkers. This topic hits close to home because my sister works at Canyon De Chelly National Park in Chinle Arizona and works with many Navajos. I am so impressed with how talented and artistic the Navajo people are. They were interviewing a man named Keith Little, a Navajo and retired Marine, about his involvement with the secret code that the Japanese could not crack during World War II. He said that the code was already made up when he became involved in the military...he just had to memorize it. He explained how different words such as hand grenade meant potato in the Navajo language and field artillery meant many big guns. The words they used were simple but effective. There was no way the Japanese would know the Navajo vocabulary and it was unbreakable. Little spoke of how proud the Navajo code talkers were to serve in the military and how they strove for speed and accuracy. The talkers were not honored until 2001, 60 years after the code had been made up. The remaining men want to keep the memory of the code talkers alive and hope to create a museum. I really hope this happens, maybe it already has. I will have to talk to my sister because she is sure to know much more about the topic. From a previous post, her co worker, William Yazzie traveled to Iwo Jima with one of the Navajo code talkers. Let's see if we can get her to elaborate a bit on this topic. I am sure she has lots of fun stories! I was just intrigued by the story and wanted to share so we can help the Navajo code talkers keep their legacy alive.
Make sure to check out our Navajo friends gorgeous jewelry at Misslynn.
until next time...Anne
photo is the monument to the Navajo Code Talkers in Window Rock Arizona...