Friday, August 14, 2009

National Navajo Code Talker Day

Today is National Navajo Code Talker Day - it is also "V-J" Day, designated just like that, with capitalized letters and a hyphen in-between. I didn't know what V-J Day was so I looked it up: it means "Victory over Japan". It is the date Japan surrendered to the Allied Forces in the war that got two nuclear bombs dropped on them. Not like Japan had much choice after we annihilated their country and their people! (How, exactly, is that a fair fight? Just sayin'.)

Okay so there's my token mention on that.

The Navajo Code Talkers on the other hand ... it was their job to send coded messages that the Japanese couldn't decipher during World War II, and it worked: the Japanese never cracked their code. Now this to me is a perfect example of where the United States military made a SMART decision. The esteemed U.S. Marine Corps, for which I hold a special place in my heart, employed the Code Talkers in every assault conducted in the Pacific from 1942 to 1945.**

Apparently the Japanese were skilled code breakers, but were "baffled" by the Navajo language.*

Nicholas Cage starred in the movie, Windtalkers which immortalizes the Code Talkers. Recognition for their contribution did not come until 1992. Modest internet research reveals tons of information and history about these heroes. Clearly, the contribution the Marine Code Talkers made to ending the war quickly and to U.S. military history is, as one website puts it, "nothing short of monumental".

In any event, utilizing the Navajo language in order to help win the wars was pretty clever if you ask me. Just knowing that the people who are native to this land fought on our side to help us win, by giving us their most precious resource ... what can one say to that? "Thank you" seems sorely inadequate.

Click on the poster above to go to a full-size version where you can read everything.

If you do nothing else today, go spend a few minutes learning about the incredible service and sacrifice these wonderful, brave people gave to our country. Better yet, Google "Navajo Code Talkers", and off you go...

*Info taken from the website, Naval History and Heritage Command.
**(Both my dad and a half-brother fought in two different wars as Marines, my dad in WWII and my brother in Vietnam. My dad never told me about the Code Talkers, mostly because I don't think he was stationed where they were working.)

No comments:

Post a Comment