Navajo Route 6 could honor Korean Vets

TSE BONITO, N.M. — On Jan. 4 the Resources and Development Committee considered legislation which seeks support to designate Navajo Route 6 as the “Korean War Veterans Memorial Highway” and requests the Navajo Division of Transportation and Bureau of Indian Affairs to recognize the designation.

Navajo Route 6 spans approximately 40 miles on the Nation and provides access to the communities of Indian Wells, Greasewood and Whitecone.

Council Delegate Lee Jack, Sr. (Dilkon, Greasewood Springs, Indian Wells, Teesto, Whitecone), who sponsored the legislation, asked for the committee’s support to designate the highway to honor Navajo veterans who served during the Korean War.

“The Korean War began on June 30, 1950 and approximately 800 Navajos served in the war,” Jack said. “All Navajo veterans deserve recognition. They are the warriors within our communities and the road designation will express our appreciation and recognize the bravery and sacrifice of those who served.”

RDC member Council Delegate Davis Filfred (Mexican Water, Aneth, Teecnospos, Tółikan, Red Mesa), in support of the legislation, stated that the road designation would honor the Korean War Veterans and teach Navajo youth and visitors about their great sacrifice. 

“The Korean War became known as ‘The Forgotten War’ and ‘The Frozen War’ but the Nation needs to recognize that they will never be forgotten,” Filfred said. “As a veteran, I appreciate and honor their service to protect our Nation, communities and families.”

Jack added that in 2016 during the “Honoring Korean War Veterans of the Navajo Nation and Navajo-Korean Fellowship Worship Service” in Leupp, Arizona, South Koreans presented Navajo Korean War veterans with the Ambassador for Peace Medal in recognition for their sacrifices in the Korean War.

The legislation also requests the BIA and NDOT, which maintain Navajo Route 6 through a joint effort, to recognize the road designation in all mapping and inventories.

The Resources and Development Committee issued a “do pass” recommendation. The Naabik’íyáti’ Committee serves as the final authority for the bill.

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