Friday, November 2, 2012

Greatest Generation: Navajo Code Talker Passes On

Growing up as member of the Generation X, we grew up with many of what would be called "The Greatest Generation" who would be our grandparents, neighbors, teachers, and friends. As we now we go more than half a century from their days when their nation needed them, we have reached that twilight moment where the last of those brave souls are crossing over and leaving us. It is sad and noteworthy for us at American Mishima to note these old warriors passings for the days where there will be no more. Sadly, one more has left us. It was reported on CNN that former USMC Sgt. George Smith has passed away. We do not know his exact age but what we do know is what his contribution and that of the Navajo Nation did for the United States. You see, the Japanese Imperial High Command could break every code the US Navy put out there until the USMC brought in Navajo volunteers who served between 1942-1945. They alone created a code using the obscure Navajo language which has no written form and is said to be impossible for a non-Navajo to learn. The Japanese had no reference or any idea what this code was nor could they decipher its cryptic messages. This proved crucial to the war effort and particularly in the Battle for Iwo Jima. Their exploits became immortalized in the 2002 John Woo film Wind Talkers starring famed Native American actor Adam Beach. There are so few left today. So we will take this moment to offer a salute to former USMC Sgt. George Smith of the proud Navajo Nation and thank him for his service. Our nation will always be indebted to these proud Warriors of the Navajo Nation.

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