Today, Governor Doug Ducey is recognizing National Navajo Code Talkers Day, now an official state holiday, to honor the Navajo Code Talkers who answered the call to protect our nation.
“Arizona is proud and grateful for the incredible work of the Code Talkers,” Governor Ducey said in the video. “Their bravery and ingenuity was instrumental in helping the Allied Forces claim victory in World War II.”
Navajo Code Talkers Day celebrates the selfless sacrifice of these brave men, including Arizona’s remaining Code Talkers: Thomas Begay, John Kinsel Jr, Samuel Sandoval and Peter MacDonald.
Governor Ducey on March 29 signed legislation sponsored by Senator Jamescita Peshlakai that makes National Navajo Code Talkers Day a legal state holiday every year on August 14. Under the legislation, if National Navajo Code Talkers Day falls on a day other than Sunday, the Sunday following August 14 is to be observed as the holiday.
The United States government recruited and enlisted more than 400 Navajo men to serve in standard communications units. The Navajo Code Talkers used their unbreakable code to assist in every major operation involving the United States Marines in the Pacific theatre, including during the battle of Iwo Jima where they successfully transmitted more than 800 messages without error.
Navajo Code Talkers Day was established through a presidential proclamation by President Ronald Reagan on August 14, 1982. In 2014, Arizona passed legislation declaring every August 14 Navajo Code Talkers Day in Arizona.
Governor Ducey has issued five proclamations to honor the Code Talkers since 2017.