Navajo-Hopi Nations,Flagstaff & Winslow News
Sat, Aug. 13

Navajo Code Talker Museum groundbreaking to be Aug. 14 in Tse Bonita, New Mexico

Photo courtesy of Navajo Code Talkers Museum)

Photo courtesy of Navajo Code Talkers Museum)

FLAGSTAFF – Approximately 300-acres of land designated for a future Navajo Code Talker Museum is being dedicated Aug. 14, in Tse Bonito, New Mexico.

The museum will honor the 400 Navajo Code Talkers who used the sacred language to win the war in the Pacific during WWII. The Navajo Code Talkers Museum board members are inviting the public to participate in the groundbreaking ceremony, which will feature Lt. Gen. David G. Bellon, commander of Marine Forces Reserve as the keynote speaker.

Navajo Code Talker Day at Tse Bonito will be comprised of a ceremony, parade, celebration, a gourd dance and day for families of Navajo Code Talkers to pay tribute to their loved ones.

In May 2020, the Navajo Code Talkers Museum, an Arizona 501(c)3 corporation, was formally organized as the logical successor to the famous Navajo Code Talkers Association (NCTA), formerly registered as a 501(c)19 charity organization.

As required by IRS rules, the membership in a 501(c)19 organization must maintain a high percentage of its service specific demographic. In the case of the NCTA, that meant a greater percentage of Navajo Code Talkers had to be active members. As our men, those who served in the United States Marine Corps as Navajo Code Talkers grew elderly, and less able to actively participate in NCTA functions, the need to create an alternative for their legacy became clear; an organization governed by a simple board of directors, with a specific mission, to build a world-class nationally prominent museum to their remembrance, according to a news release.

“Since our inception, we have been actively planning and strategizing for the fulfillment of that mission,” said Regan Hawthorne, U.S. Army veteran and NCTM board member.

Reagan said the group’s vision is to educate the world about the official Navajo language code, and the culture of the brave men chosen to create it and to advance the victory in the Pacific Theater in WWII.

The organization currently has four remaining Navajo Code Talkers, when once they were 400 strong.

“It is our deep commitment to present these men with their museum,” the board stated.

On Aug. 14, 1982, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed it to be Navajo Code Talkers Day. Then in 2014, the State of Arizona passed legislation that every Aug. 14 will be Navajo Code Talkers Day statewide.

“On Aug. 14, we’ll be celebrating the 80th anniversary. The establishment of the esteemed, unbreakable and unforgettable Navajo Code, that saved lives and helped win the war in the Pacific,” said Peter MacDonald, Navajo Code Talker, former Navajo Nation Chairman and also president of the Navajo Code Talkers Museum.

The Navajo Code Talkers Museum board will be following all CDC COVID-19 guidelines for this outdoor event and parade. More information is available at navajocodetalkersmuseum@gmail.com.

Information provided by the Navajo Code Talker Museum.

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