August 14, 2016

Udall Honors Navajo Code Talkers

WASHINGTON - Today, National Navajo Code Talkers Day, U.S. Senator Tom Udall issued the following statement in honor of the crucial contributions made by Navajo Code Talkers during World War II:

“In spring 1942, the first 29 Navajo recruits arrived at Camp Pendleton in California to develop a code that could be deployed easily but not cracked. The team grew over the course of the war to over 400. They helped the Marines capture Iwo Jima, played a crucial role in the American victory in the Pacific and saved untold numbers of Allied soldiers and others.

“America’s diversity makes us strong, and during World War II, our cultural diversity contributed to American military strength in a very real way. Even so, when the Navajo Code Talkers first arrived at Camp Pendleton, some still considered them less than fully equal. Many of the Code Talkers were born as noncitizens and had faced bigotry and injustice. But it was partly because of that experience that they eagerly signed up to free others from oppression. In sharing their language, they demonstrated patriotism and honor. 

“The Navajo Code Talkers’ mission was secret. We didn’t learn of their contributions until 1968, and these men didn’t begin to receive the true recognition they deserved until decades after that. They are part of the Greatest Generation and helped make possible the freedoms we enjoy today. On National Navajo Code Talkers Day, we honor their memory so that we all can be inspired by their story."