New Monument Honors Navajos Who Saved Lives, Turned the Tide in the Pacific

Navajo Code Talkers were honored recently when the New Mexico State Organization of the Daughters of the American Revolution paid homage to their legacy by unveiling the Navajo Code Talker Monument in the Santa Fe National Cemetery on March 21st.

Three of the Code Talkers - Roy Hawthorne, Bill Toledo and Chester Nez, were able to attend. Members of their families and several local dignitaries, including Mayor David Coss also attended the ceremony.

92-year-old Nez, a New Mexican and last surviving of the Original 29 Navajo Code Talkers, remembers those days of being a code talker at the young age of 18. “I was the first one in line. I wanted to do something for my country.” Nez served on four or five different islands over the course of about three years, but never got a break to visit home.

Code Talker Roy Hawthorne expressed his feelings as to why Thursday’s ceremony was so important. “It tells us that there are people who are really sincere in their appreciation of what we have done. It’s an opportunity to pass on to our children the legacy that we were afforded to be part of as Navajo Code Talkers. We were successful in turning the tide of the war in the Pacific.” Bill Toledo said it a lot more simply, “We saved a lot of lives with our language.”

Approximately 420 young Navajo men served as Code Talkers during the war, some of whom were as young as 15 years old when they enlisted. Before the arrival of the Code Talkers, the Japanese were very adept at breaking all American codes regarding troop movements in the South Pacific. The Navajo Code Talkers quickly put a end to that.


Responses to "Navajo Code Talkers honored with a monument for their service"

  1. Anonymous says:

    Yeah it is about time you received an honor for all you men did for our country during the War.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Great article. Thank God for the "Code Talkers"! Thank you very much for your offering and your large part in the puzzle of " World War II."

  3. Mary says:

    I am grateful to them for being willing to serve.

  4. Anonymous says:

    There needs to be a big monument in Washington and one in Phoenix. Thank you ever souch for your service. God bless all of you

  5. Anonymous says:

    You are true hero's for this country. Thank you for all you sacrificed and did for us and all our relations.

  6. moon star says:

    thank you for saving this nation, you did turn the tide of ww2. i only hope that there might someday be some commemoration to you in washington. you all come from warriors, somewhere back in time, and you have proved that you still are warriors. fighting for the same people who treated you so badly all these years, for one, i am terribly sorry.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Without you the war would have been lost. I am very grateful for their service and sacrifice. There should be a big memorial for the Code Talkers in Washington!!!! My parents told me about the Code Talkers many years ago and my children know about them and what they did for this country.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Thank you,Code Talkers...I have read about what you did for years and have the blanket created to honor you in my home. My respect to all of you remains always in my heart.

  9. Lisa Hewes says:

    I think it's about time that these honorable peoples are recognized for what they did for a Nation that treated most Native Americans so cruely. They did for the whites that the whites would not have done for them. I'm not sure how accurate the movie was about the Code Talkers, but it is worth seeing. I'm glad that recognition is finally happening.

  10. Pat Ann Mullarkey says:


  11. Anonymous says:

    While our history in America has eras of shameful behavior by whites, there are also eras of honorable and heroic behavior both by individuals and by groups. It is nice to see that as a nation we are making an effort to overcome some of the shame by acknowledging the honorable and heroic events. We have a very long way yet to go but this is one small step on that path towards a nation of equals. Where race/ethnic heritage is secondary to the brotherhood we share with all men.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Thank you for your service. I was honored to work in KinLicChee for several years and have great love and respect for the Navajo people and their land.

  13. Brian Stroud says:

    you guys are incredible marines and top notch men my family thanks all of you for what you have done . my hat is off to you for who you are and saving this country during War . OOH-RAH !!! major respects

  14. Anonymous says:

    Forever grateful

  15. Unknown says:

    Thank You Code Talkers...:-)

  16. Anonymous says:

    I cant believe the last of the original 29 had died already

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