Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Currents. Discussion »
GRAND RAPIDS - Braving a brisk 34-degree - yet clear - Michigan evening in November, Navajo Code Talker Samuel Sandoval rode in an open convertible to participate in the annual Veterans Day parade last night.
Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell with Navajo Code Talker Samuel Sandoval
Voices in the crowd that lined the main streets of the parade route through downtown Grand Rapids could be heard yelling, "thank you - thank you" to the Navajo Code Talker hero with the sounds of marching bands and applause from crowd. He responded in kind by waving his white-gloved right hand and flashing a beaming grandfatherly smile.
Sandoval, who spoke to an overflow crowd of almost 700 on Thursday, stayed over in Grand Rapids ride in the Veterans Day parade.
Prior to the beginning of the parade, Sandoval was greeted by Grand Rapids Mayor George K. Heartwell, who said he was honored to meet the World War II hero.
Earlier in the day, Sandoval attended a community dinner, given in his honor, at Straight School, home to the Grand Rapids Public Schools' Native American Education Program. The Niibi aanakwat Nagamojik, Summer Cloud Singers, an all alcohol-free and female hand-drum singing group performed for the distinguished guest of honor.
posted November 12, 2011 7:20 am est
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