In the conflict of World War II, the US military needed an unbreakable cipher to stop enemy spies from intercepting secret messages sent over the air waves. Enter the Navajo Nation, located in the Four Corners area where Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico meet at a perfect point.
The Navajo language is complex and difficult to translate, thus making it the perfect code for the US military to employ. Information specialists in Japan and Germany had never before heard this language, and had no idea what to make of it as Navajo began taking over the American airways.
Working with the US Marine Corps, these brave and valiant “code talkers” were essential to Allied victory during the Second World War, and one small way to honor their service is to recognize them on Navajo Code Talkers Day.
In 1982, this day was written into the national holiday record by President Ronald Reagan. August 14th was chosen as Navajo Code Talkers Day, and is celebrated in the Southwestern United States with particular vigor.
The unique nature of the Navajo language means it is unintelligible to those not having extensive exposure to the language and culture. It is spoken by a vast minority, even amongst those living in or near the Navajo Nation.
It will be up to younger generations to revive the language and remember the bravery of these code talkers during a dark period in world history.