Navajo Nation honors fallen warriors on Memorial Day
WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. – On Memorial Day, Navajo officials gathered to pay tribute to fallen warriors by laying wreaths at the memorial wall at Veterans Memorial Park in Window Rock, Arizona.
The memorial wall lists the names of Navajo men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice serving in the Armed Forces and those who are still missing in action.
Those participating in the ceremony included Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez, Vice President Myron Lizer, First Lady Phefelia Nez, and Second Lady Dottie Lizer joined by 24th Navajo Nation Council Delegate Raymond Smith, Jr., Navajo Nation Veterans Administration Executive Director James Zwierlein and Miss Navajo Nation Shaandiin Parrish.
“Our country has set aside this day to pay tribute to our fallen warriors who gave their last measure of service and devotion for this Nation that we love. Today, we remember and honor our Navajo warriors who protected this country with honor, courage, and selflessness. We pray for and thank the family and comrades of our fallen heroes – spouses, children, brothers, sisters, and relatives for their sacrifice and service,” Nez said.
Navajo Nation Memorial Day 2021
He also paid special tribute to Gold Star families, military families, and veterans who continue to carry on the legacy of their loved ones.
“Let us pray together today for the families to help them heal so they may be strong for themselves and their families. We are so grateful for the families of our fallen. Let’s also remember those who are currently serving overseas and across this country,” he added.
Vice President Lizer highlighted the importance of remembering and commemorating the sacrifices of past warriors who defended our freedom.
“We thank the Creator for blessing our Nation with so many great warriors. We also pray for our Navajo citizens who have lost their lives during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are all on this road of mourning and healing, but we will prevail with God’s grace,” Lizer stated.
Pinedale CVO Commander Raphael Martin provided the opening and closing prayers, while Navajo Nation Veterans Advisory Council Vice-Chair Arthur Hardy, Jr. served as the master of ceremony for the event. Navajo Nation Veterans Affairs – Fort Defiance Agency VSO Bobbie Baldwin also recited the Pledge of Allegiance.
President Nez and Vice President Lizer give special thanks to Gold Star Mother Jeanette Yazzie for paying tribute to all Gold Star families. The Upper Fruitland Veteran Color Guard Team conducted the 21 Guns salute and performed the musical of Taps. Flags were also flown half-staff in honor of the many who gave their lives in service to our country.
Following the event, Nez also participated in the Memorial Day Walk with the Tohatchi Color Guard from Tohatchi Chapter House to the Gallup Veterans Cemetery in Gallup, New Mexico.
Information provided by the Navajo Nation