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Code Talker Day Aug. 14 - Last Original Navajo Code Talker Recently Dies - Chester Nez


Offbeat  (tags: Navajo Code Talker, Chester Nez, deceased, WWII, Code Talker Day )

Dandelion
- 139 days ago - nytimes.com
The code talkers were considered so indispensable that they were given little respite, often working 35 hours straight without food or rest, hunkered down in foxholes or dodging bullets.



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Comments

Anteater Ants (105)
Monday August 11, 2014, 12:51 pm
very sad
 

john pierce (225)
Monday August 11, 2014, 2:01 pm
Signed & shared
 

AniMae Chi (434)
Monday August 11, 2014, 5:05 pm
Great loss!

Thanx Dandelion
 

Pat B. (355)
Monday August 11, 2014, 6:40 pm
We must never forget these brave and courageous men.!! RIP, Sir. Semper Fidelis.!!
 

JL A. (276)
Monday August 11, 2014, 7:09 pm
We owe a whole lot more than most realize to the Code Talkers; RIP Chester
 

Christeen Anderson (554)
Monday August 11, 2014, 7:55 pm
Thanks for this share.
 

Dandelion G. (383)
Monday August 11, 2014, 7:56 pm
Nothing to sign John unless you meant noted. Thanks for sharing, as JL A mentions, we owe a whole lot more than most realize to the Code Talkers.
 

S J. (119)
Monday August 11, 2014, 8:13 pm
RIP true hero, you will be missed and remembered.

Thank you Dandelion
 

Natasha Salgado (578)
Monday August 11, 2014, 8:14 pm
A sad loss--thanks Dandelion
 

Joan McAllister (1064)
Monday August 11, 2014, 8:24 pm
A sad loss indeed. Thanks Dandelion
 

Julie E. (374)
Monday August 11, 2014, 8:44 pm
Yes, very sad. Thank you Dandelion. R.I.P. Chester Nez. What a life he had.
 

GGmaSheila D. (169)
Monday August 11, 2014, 8:52 pm
The movie Wind Talkers (I think that's the title) was about these courageous men...if not for that movie doubt many people would have known about the. Thanks Dandelion.
 

Edith B. (145)
Monday August 11, 2014, 8:56 pm
Thanks for sharing this one. I did not realize that Native Americans couldn't vote in all states as late as 1948! Yet another example of the disgraceful way they have been treated and continue to be mistreated. We need to know all we can about this subject so we can help improve conditions for our original people, the true owners of this land.
 

Sue L. (68)
Monday August 11, 2014, 8:58 pm
RIP Chester Nez. You were an honorable man for serving so faithfully the very country which treated you as a second class citizen.

“All those years, telling you not to speak Navajo, and then to turn around and ask us for help with that same language,” he told USA Today in 2002. “It still kind of bothers me.”
 

Rose NoFWDSPLZ (283)
Monday August 11, 2014, 11:23 pm
RIP Chester, you have endured so much
 

LaurenPartTime Kozen (159)
Tuesday August 12, 2014, 12:27 am
Very Sad.
Noted & Shared. Thanks for posting Sheryl.
 

Pat Cunningham (147)
Tuesday August 12, 2014, 2:05 am
Noted. RIP Chester you deserve a well earned rest.
 

Dawn W. (138)
Tuesday August 12, 2014, 2:11 am
Wonderful blokes, who are owed a big debt of gratitude. Unfortunately the gratitude seems very slow arriving, sort of in dribs and drabs. And if the Native languages were good enough to use for defense, why weren't they allowed to be used or spoken by the rightful owners of this language? Very strange gratitude indeed. Sometimes I wonder about the intelligence of leaders both past and present. Seems that common sen sense is not a flower that grows in everyone's garden, which is very sad.

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Peter Blattner (52)
Tuesday August 12, 2014, 2:12 am
A very great and an impressive person. Rest in peace!
 

Cheree M. (46)
Tuesday August 12, 2014, 2:57 am
sadly noted, thanks for sharing.
 

Edwin M. (356)
Tuesday August 12, 2014, 3:11 am
They never received the recognition they deserved.
 

Don H. (43)
Tuesday August 12, 2014, 4:01 am
Thank you, Dandelion.
 

Birgit W. (152)
Tuesday August 12, 2014, 4:01 am
Thanks for sharing.
 

Arild Warud (170)
Tuesday August 12, 2014, 4:21 am
They should have had more recognition for the importante job they did during WWII,sad to here that the last one have taken the journey.
 

Arlene C. (111)
Tuesday August 12, 2014, 4:24 am
merci
 

Giana Peranio-Paz (395)
Tuesday August 12, 2014, 5:49 am
I saw the film about them I don't remember its name but it was really good, and showed things how they were.
 

Winn Adams (205)
Tuesday August 12, 2014, 6:37 am
May he rest in peace. What would we have done without these brave men during WWII . . . .
 

Dandelion G. (383)
Tuesday August 12, 2014, 9:03 am
Thanks Edith, and AZ held out until I believe 1967 for it's State elections allowing Native American to vote. It also wasn't until the mid 1970's that Native Americans were legally able to practice their own Spiritual Ceremonies.

In a Country that talks about "religious freedom" this still wasn't allowed for the First People and their offspring. Still to this day a lot of parents must go to Court to get rulings for their son's to be able to wear their hair long, as many public schools state it's against dress code. Yet. no one would say that to other religious groups that in fact have their unique head coverings or wearing a cross around the neck. Thankful I was spared that with my son while he attended school; but I lived in a very progressive community at the time.
 

Ulane V. (43)
Tuesday August 12, 2014, 11:12 am
Thank you, this was something I never knew.
 

Jude Hand (59)
Tuesday August 12, 2014, 1:48 pm
Noted, shared, tweeted, tumblr'd. Thanks for choosing this particular article on Mr. Nez's death and life, Dandelion.
 

Lois Jordan (58)
Tuesday August 12, 2014, 3:47 pm
Noted. Thanks for posting, Dandelion. What amazing work they did!
 

Ros G. (84)
Tuesday August 12, 2014, 6:11 pm
Thanks Dandelion for this remarkable story.
 

Judy C. (101)
Tuesday August 12, 2014, 9:33 pm
Thanks for posting this, Dandelion. It is a very good article. It states this fact I didn't know, about other Native languages being used for code:

"Members of other Native American tribes, including the Comanche, Choctaw and Winnebago, using codes based on their languages, were also recruited for the war effort, serving in Europe and North Africa. But the Navajo, who served in the Pacific, furnished the war’s single largest contingent of code talkers."

The article ends by saying-

"In his many interviews and public appearances, Mr. Nez expressed unmistakable pride in his wartime work. But the irony of what that work entailed was far from lost on him.

“All those years, telling you not to speak Navajo, and then to turn around and ask us for help with that same language,” he told USA Today in 2002. “It still kind of bothers me.”

Even though Chester Nez deserves the highest respect as an honorable and principled man, he is portrayed as fully human. He set aside understandable hurt and resentment, and did what he perceived as his duty. Still, the author of the article doesn't over-idealize him as an unrealistic saint.
 

B Lewenza (76)
Wednesday August 13, 2014, 4:12 am
Noted Thanks for sharing Dandelion Very interesting article I find it amazing that they used Chester Nez as a code analyzer and commander and yet the natives are not respected in the US. The man saved the Americans the blood shed and saved them. At least he knows the lives he saved during that time and may he R.I.P. he was a true American.
 

Darlene B. (288)
Wednesday August 13, 2014, 7:06 am
RIP Chester Nez--thank you Dandelion.
 

Mandi T. (431)
Wednesday August 13, 2014, 5:33 pm
RIP Mr. Nez, tks Sheryl
 

Susan Frudd (42)
Thursday August 14, 2014, 11:54 am
Wonderful story, amazing man, thank you Dandelion. I do find it sad and really quite shocking that the Native Americans were treated in such a way and even today there are still many problems for them. There lives were
controlled and yet we owe many such a debt of gratitude as seen with Chester Nez. There always are the forgotten so I am so pleased to see such a fitting memorial to such an amazing man. Many Native Americans played there part and many lost their lives. Shame they do not get the respect they deserve.
 

Dandelion G. (383)
Thursday August 14, 2014, 1:12 pm
Thank you for your lovely comment Susan F. on this day, Aug. 14th is National Code Talkers Day.
 

SuSanne P. (186)
Thursday August 14, 2014, 1:15 pm
Thank you for every thread you have posted about the Code Talkers. We owe the First Nation's peoples more than a Congressional Medal of Honor. Re-reading each detail, each year, breaks my Heart much deeper than the previous year. I must be understanding a wee bit deeper than I previously 'thought'. I recall watching the film prior to your education. They were different accounts of history from my reference point. Thank you Dandelion. I send Respect and gratitude.
Sue highlighted one of the two sentences I wanted to copy. “All those years, telling you not to speak Navajo, and then to turn around and ask us for help with that same language,” he told USA Today in 2002. “It still kind of bothers me.”
This speaks of true humility and speaks volumes about Chester Nez's character.
“When joining the Marine Corps, I thought about how my people were mistreated,” Mr. Nez said in a 2005 interview. “But then I thought this would be my chance to do something for my country.”
 

Dandelion G. (383)
Thursday August 14, 2014, 2:17 pm
And he was a much better man than many, for in his doing "something for is Country" his Country he still couldn't vote. Imagine that. You are most welcome Susanne. I do try to do something each year to honor these men and to remind people of what they truly did. I'm finding people are still learning about the Code Talkers, every year it does seem someone has heard about them for the first time.
 

Eternal Gardener (761)
Thursday August 14, 2014, 9:48 pm
Ditto Edith B. & Susan Frudd!
Thank you for posting Dandelion!
 

Caitlin Mac Iver (103)
Friday August 15, 2014, 6:53 am
It is sad to hear of any bad treatment the code talkers underwent, but I'm glad they are being honored in this day and age. All peoples are important. We owe more to the native peoples than we will ever be able to repay. Too bad some of our citizens don't realize that... meaning those in power to make laws, etc. Thanks, Dandelion.
 

SuSanne P. (186)
Saturday August 16, 2014, 12:48 pm
I've been thinking of Mr. Chez Nez, as well as all the Code Talkers, quite a bit since reading this thread. Maybe it touched me so deeply because it was written from a personal account. I am ashamed of the way the First Nations's and Indigenous Peoples have been treated by this country. I was deeply touched reading Susan F's comments the other day as well. I read disbelief in her post that any civilized people (we) could treat fellow humans with such deplorable and unforgivable methods. It is shameful.
I struggled to find the words that didn't come to me, until this morning.
He was an Honorable Man~with INTEGRITY!
 

SuSanne P. (186)
Saturday August 16, 2014, 12:50 pm
Forgive me, please! Mr. Chester Nez!!!!
 

Pat A. (116)
Wednesday August 20, 2014, 12:24 am
I knew about them and their vital service before - but am appalled they were treated so badly.
 

Nancy C. (812)
Thursday August 28, 2014, 1:10 pm
Thank you to the brave men of the 382nd and to those Code Talkers who lost their lives during the war. RIP Chester Nez and all. Interesting about the nightmares and healing ceremony. I'm always in the same spirit of Susanne regarding the past and present treatment of our True Americans, my own relatives. I imagine many of us don't even know that our forefathers were Native American...ty friend
 

Dandelion G. (383)
Thursday August 28, 2014, 1:59 pm
I agree with that statement Nancy. Parents tried to "protect" their children from being abused solely due to the fact they were Native American, so did not tell the children. Time moves forward and this is lost, sometimes never to be found as much was kept as oral lineage. I can recall my Mother telling me when she asked her Mother what is that dance you are doing, as it didn't look like the dances of the day. Her Mother told her that it was Indian dance. When my Mother inquired more she was rebuffed, she said, "for goodness sake it is bad enough the neighbors know you are Irish, don't let them know you are Indian as well." That is so sad, I'm glad I've regained many of the teachings and I proudly Walk with them today. I took back some of what was my lost heritage.....sad for most of us we can only regain a portion of it.
 
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