It was supposed to be a ceremony honoring and focusing attention on the invaluable contribution of the Navajo Code Talkers to America during WWII. Most people don’t know about the Navajo contributions. President Trump was supposed to honor them and bring attention to their efforts, even though its almost 70 years later. Five Seconds into the President’s remarks that were supposed to be honoring Navajo veterans, Trump felt compelled to refer to Elizabeth Warren as “Pocahontas,” in what can only be considered a racial slur, and a remark that was totally inappropriate in this setting.
Instead of honoring these brave men, the President turned the event into an outrageous assault on Native Americans and opposing politicians.
“As a result, American battle plans became known to the enemy almost immediately, often before they had become operational, and there appeared to be no immediate workable solution. The result was an appalling loss of American lives. One war analyst commented, ‘Military communications were made available to the enemy like sand sifting through a sieve.’ Some months before, Philip Johnston, a middle-aged civil engineer who lived in Los Angeles, read a newspaper article on military security. During World War I, he had served with U.S. forces in France, and although too old to fight in World War II, Johnston wanted to aid the current war effort in some way. From the age of four, he had lived on the Navajo Indian Reservation, where his parents were Protestant missionaries, and had consequently grown up speaking the Navajo tongue with his playmates. Now, as he read, the concept of a secret military code based on the Navajo language flashed across his mind.
Johnston’s confidence in his theory lay in the fact that the Navajo language includes a number of words that, when spoken with varying inflections, may have as many as four totally different meanings. Navajo verb forms are especially complex. To most listeners, the language is virtually incomprehensible and has been variously likened to the rumble of a moving freight train, the gurgling noises of a partially blocked sink drain, or, jokingly, the resonant thunder of an old-fashioned commode being flushed. As a result, use of the Navajo tongue was confined almost entirely to the reservation; few non-Navajos spoke or understood it. And it was a ‘hidden language,’ there not yet being an alphabet or written form for others to study.
Exactly how the Navajos did their job remained a mystery to many Marine Corps staff officers. However, their proficiency, both under training conditions and later in actual combat, proved that the Navajos were completely reliable and erased the initial distrust felt by some Marine officers.
ere it not for the Navajo Code Talkers, the Marines never would have taken Iwo Jima.’
On an August evening in 1945, the Navajos were, quite naturally, a
But for most of the men who wished to marry and raise families, there were severe problems. Jobs were scarce; in fact, there were none to be had on the reservation. Many banks refused to make G.I. loans even to honorably discharged veterans because Navajo families held their reservation land parcels in trust and had no proof of title. The men felt, with considerable justification, that it was a shameful way for their government to treat them. But, as one veteran code talker remarked, ‘We’ve faced difficult situations before, and tough trails have never defeated us! Somehow the Navajos surviv
A Japanese general admitted after World War II that the most highly skilled Japanese cryptographers had not been able to decipher the Marines’ messages. After being informed that it was a code based on a Native American language, he said: ‘Thank you, that is a puzzle I thought would never be solved.’