Hopi JROTC Color Guard has Hopi Code Talker ancestry

KYKOTSMOVI, Ariz. - The Hopi Jr/Sr High School JROTC posted colors in recognition for the Arizona Hopi Code Talkers ceremony on May 23, 2011. Several distinguished guest were in attendance including Senator Jack Jackson Jr. (Arizona Legislative District 2), the Honorable Ken Bennett (Arizona Secretary of State), John Dudas (Arizona Department of Veterans Services Network), Miss Hopi, the families of the Arizona Code Talkers, Tribal Color Guards and many more.

The Color Guard paid honor in recognition of the heroic events, which took place in World War II. There were only 10 Hopi Native Americans that were assigned to the 323rd Regimental Combat Team, which was assigned to end combat on Peleliu during the final phases of the campaign.

Two of the Color Guards had personal ancestry with three of the Hopi Code Talkers. Brandi Navenma is the great-granddaughter of Technical 5 Franklin Shupla- "Awiino" from the Tobacco Clan, from Tewa Village and Private First Class Percival Navenma- "Masahoyniwa" from the Tobacco/Rabbit Clan from Mishungnovi Village.

The Color Guard captain, Faylene Secukuku, is the step-granddaughter of Private First Class Charles T. Lomakema- "Tawayawma" from the Bear Strap Clan from Shungopavi Village. The cadets were proud to have the honor of posting the colors for their relatives.

It was great to be a part of a proud history. At a time when the Hopi language is in danger of becoming extinct, they have been given the honor of commemorating this historic event. The Code Talkers have become part of our nation's history by using their native language to save many lives and to end the war early.

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