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U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: An Unbreakable Code
Navajo Code Talkers Museum prepares for special celebration
Tuesday, July 12, 2022

A long-awaited celebration is taking place on National Navajo Code Talkers Day this year.

On August 14, the Navajo Code Talkers Museum will finally break ground on a permanent facility. The 400-acre site in Tse Bonito, New Mexico, will be used to honor the Navajo Code Talkers who used the Dine language to help the United States and its allies achieve victory in World War II.

“Since our inception, we have been actively planning and strategizing for the fulfillment of that mission. Our vision statement: Educating the world about the official Navajo language code, and the culture of the brave men chosen to create it, to advance the victory in the Pacific Theater in WWII,” said Regan Hawthorne, a member of the museum board and a veteran of the U.S. Army.

2016 Navajo Code Talkers Day
A National Navajo Code Talkers Day in Window Rock, Arizona, the capital of the Navajo Nation. Photo by Sgt. Melissa Marnell, Office of the Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps / U.S. Marine Corps

Over 400 Navajo citizens took part in the once-classified Code Talker project. They served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the Pacific theater, during a crucial portion of the world war.

By using the Dine language, the Navajo Code Talkers were able to transmit, receive and decode messages that were never broken by enemy forces.

“On August 14, we’ll be celebrating the 80th anniversary,” said Peter MacDonald, a Code Talker and former leader of the Navajo Nation. “The establishment of the esteemed, unbreakable and unforgettable Navajo Code, that saved lives and helped win the war in the Pacific.”

MacDonald, who is in his 90s, is part of a rare class. Of the 400-plus Navajo citizens who served as Code Talkers, only four are still alive, according to the board of the Navajo Code Talkers Museum, a non-profit incorporated in the state of Arizona.

Thomas Begay, John Kinsel and Samuel Sandoval are also carrying on the Code Talker legacy. All of over the age of 80.

The 29 Navajo citizens who developed the code were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 2001 for their efforts. The ones who followed in their footsteps received the Congressional Silver Medal.

The August 14 celebration is open to the public. It will feature a ceremony, parade and gourd dance, with all events taking place outdoors in light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information visit or contact the Navajo Code Talkers Museum at