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WINDOW ROCK, ARIZONA Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly expressed his gratitude for the service of the Navajo Code Talkers during World War II on Navajo Code Talkers Day celebration Wednesday.
“On behalf of First Lady Martha Shelly, Vice President Rex Lee Jim, and I, we salute our Navajo Code Talkers, who turned the tide of the war in the Pacific Theater, and brought our county to victory,”
President Shelly said in his welcoming address.
Approximately 20 Navajo Code Talkers and 200 people attended the welcoming ceremony at the Window Rock Navajo Tribal Park and Veteran's Memorial.
President Shelly read a Loyalty Pledge to the United States that was passed by the Navajo Nation Council in 1940 as World War II escalated.
“Now therefore, we resolve that the Navajo Indians stand ready as they did in 1918 to aid and defend our Government and its institutions against all subversive and armed conflict and pledge our loyalty to the system which recognizes minority rights and a way of life that has placed us among the greatest people of our race,”
President Shelly stated.
President Shelly cited Congressional reports that more than 5,000 American Indians served in the armed forces during World War II and about half of them were Navajo.
“We welcome you to this day, whereupon we will bestow honor to you, and to the spirit of the ones who have passed. This day shall forever be set aside in your tribute and honor,”
President Shelly said.
President Ronald Reagan set aside August 14 as National Navajo Code Talker Day beginning in 1982.
posted August 15, 2013 6:00 am edt