Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Tue, Oct. 27

Navajo Nation Leaders, IHS, BIA proclaim 2005 as the Year of the Navajo Veteran

WINDOW ROCK -- In recognition of the sacrifices made by Navajo vets, the Navajo Nation, on June 10, proclaimed 2005 as the Year of the Navajo Veteran.

Navajo Nation President Joe Shirley Jr., was joined by Navajo Nation Council Speaker Lawrence T. Morgan, Navajo Supreme Court Chief Justice Herb Yazzie, BIA Area Director Elouise Chicharello and Navajo Area IHS Director John Hubbard in signing the proclamation.

"We owe our freedom and sense of security to our veterans and those young men and women now serving in uniform, and we can't say thank you to them enough," President Shirley said. "They were, and are, willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to preserve and defend our sacred land and way of life."

"Sadly, many of them made that sacrifice, and it behooves us all to remember who they are and what they did for us all," he added. "Declaring this the Year of the Navajo Veteran is but a small expression of our appreciation."

The proclamation notes that the first acknowledgement of Navajo loyalty to the U.S. Armed Services came in a resolution of the Navajo Tribal Council on

June 4, 1940. That resolution states that Navajos stood ready to serve as they did in World War I in 1918.

Navajos have served in every American war and particularly distinguished themselves as Navajo Code Talkers in World War II.

The proclamation states that Navajo Nation leaders appreciate and pay tribute to veterans and those currently serving who defend Navajoland in order to maintain freedom and the Navajo way of life.

It also asks that individuals, families, communities, tribal programs, businesses and governmental agencies assist and support functions and activities that extend the due respect, appreciation and recognition of the service given by our Navajo Nation veterans.

(George Hardeen is Navajo Nation Communications Director.)

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