God bless them.
Roy Hawthorne, Navajo Code Talker. USMC.
He walked the 2 mile parade route. Two Navajo Marines are helping him with the last 1/2 mile.
On the Pacific front during World War II, strange messages were picked up by American and Japanese forces on land and at sea. The messages were totally unintelligible to everyone except a small select group within the Marine Corps: the Navajo code talkers-a group of Navajos communicating in a code based on the Navajo language. This code, the first unbreakable one in U.S. history, was a key reason that the Allies were able to win in the Pacific.
At Roy Hawthorne’s school, there was one sure way to get in trouble. Hawthorne lived on the Navajo reservation in New Mexico in the 1930s and attended a school run by the US government. Students at the school were strictly forbidden to speak their native Navajo language. If they spoke anything other than English, they would likely have their mouths washed out with soap. But Hawthorne never stopped speaking Navajo. At home and at play, he still used the language that had been passed down from one generation to the next. Years later, his knowledge of that language paid off for him and for his entire country. Hawthorne became a “code talker,” one of a group of about four hundred Navajos who served in the US Marine Corps during World War II. Their job was to send and receive secret coded messages.
The coder talkers invented a code based on their native language that was never broken by the enemy. The same language that once got Navajo children like Roy Hawthorne in trouble saved thousands of lives during the war.