CONTRIBUTED BY YOUNG MARINES
More than 150 youth members of the national youth education and service program Young Marines–including nine from the Douglas County Young Marines, based in Centennial–gathered in Window Rock, Arizona, to honor and learn from the Navajo Code Talkers from WWII.
Every year on August 14th, the Navajo Nation celebrates an elite group of World War II veterans – the Navajo Code Talkers. These remarkable patriots served their country by transmitting top-secret messages across enemy lines using the Navajo language as code – the only code unbroken by the Japanese in World War II. To date, only five of these veterans remain.
Since 2006, the Young Marines have traveled to Arizona each year to celebrate the Navajo Code Talkers and to meet the few remaining survivors in person.
The Navajo Code Talkers’ story has been top secret for years, but the Young Marines help to keep their legacy alive.
“Navajo Code Talkers Day is an event that the Young Marines and the Navajo Code Talkers look forward to every year,” said Brenda McNulty, Young Marines event coordinator. “Our partnership between the descendants of the Navajo Code Talkers and the Young Marines has strengthened year after year since 2006. It is a collaborative effort in which both parties create a successful event for everyone to enjoy.”
The Young Marines participate for three days on the Navajo reservation. They escort the Navajo Code Talkers during Navajo Code Talker Day also participate in a parade, a trail run and clean up, community service at a zoo, and museum education. It is a jammed-packed three days of education and service.
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