On November 13, 2013 Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont asked for a few minutes to acknowledge the contributions of Native Americans veterans who served in every American war since 1776. He singled out for recognition Navajo Code talkers who helped confound and confuse the Japanese Army and Navy in WW2.
“Mr. President, this month, we commemorate Native American Heritage Month. It is an important opportunity to recognize the exceptional achievements and contributions of those in the Native American community. They are an integral part of this country’s history, which has been both proud and painful. It is important to stop and reflect on how we as a nation can learn from the past and plan for our shared future as fellow Americans.”
“It is fitting that in this month we also celebrate Veterans Day. For over 200 years, Native Americans, including American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians, have served honorably and with distinction in the U.S. Armed Forces. Native Americans have served in every conflict since the Revolutionary War and contribute in disproportionately high numbers to our Nation’s defense. No group of Americans has a higher per capita service rate in the military than Native Americans”, said Leahy.
“One of the most unique and extraordinary contributions was by the “Code Talkers” during both world wars. Using codes based on their distinct languages, these Native American soldiers transmitted orders and communications to troops and allies, which were indecipherable to our enemies. Later this month, 33 tribes will be recognized with Congressional Gold Medals to celebrate this significant contribution during the Second World War. This recognition is both historic and overdue”, said Senator Leahy (source: congressional Record http://thomas.loc.gov).
See related video: Navajo Code Talkers http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2JPIeyBPum0