If you don't know the story, the Code Talkers were recruited to be communications specialists during World War II. It was essential to be able to develop a code unbreakable by the Japanese and the Marines thought that the Navajo language could serve as the basis of that code. They went to the Navajo reservation and recruited 30 men to go through training. Only 29 were able to make it to training, and thus became the honored original 29 who worked out the code that turned names of common military equipment into Navajo words. Even if the Japanese had been able to translate the words, they would not know what they referred to as they were not literal translations. The code developed by the Navajo Code Talkers helped the United States prevail in World War II.
Only about 50 of the 200+ Code Talkers survive today. Many of them are actively involved in planning a museum that will be located in northern New Mexico to preserve the story of the Code Talkers and the Navajo language.
I'll post more information after I read the book that I purchased yesterday as a donation towards the museum. A slide show of photos from the ceremony will also be posted soon.
- Cheryl Fallstead