On day dedicated to
Native Americans, a move to honor Hopi Tribe’s code
Read the entire article: http://www.latinalista.net/phoenix/2011/01/on_day_dedicated_to_native_americans_a_m.htm
Arizona: Maxine Wadsworth’s father never told her that he was one of 10 Hopi tribal members who served as code talkers during World War II. It wasn’t until she spoke with another code talker that she learned about Orville Wadsworth’s role.
Maxine and other Hopi tribal members soon began the push for legislation to recognize their service alongside other Native American code talkers.
Recently, the Senate's Veterans and Military Affairs Committee voted unanimously to endorse such a resolution. SCR 1009 would formally honor all 10 members of the Hopi Tribe who served as code talkers.
“The (Hopi) people have waited for something like this to happen for quite a while, especially those that knew from the beginning that they had contributed something very positive to the preservation of this country,” Wadsworth said.
SCR 1009 also encourages schools to teach about the contributions of the Hopi and other Native American code talkers.
During WWII, 17 tribes used their native languages to transmit messages for the U.S. military. Their efforts baffled enemy troops and were credited with saving countless lives.
“The Hopi people are very humble and don’t expect any glory or recognition, but for the most part they are supportive that we are finally recognizing the Hopi code talkers,” said Eugene Talas, director of Hopi Veterans affairs.
Orville Wadsworth died in 1969 from complications of alcoholism. Maxine said the resolution gives her family a positive
way to remember him. “It’s been very difficult seeing a man of honor … die in such a manner,” she said. “It was very difficult for my family, so this is closure for our family.”
Rosa Honani's grandfather, Perry Honani Sr. was also a Hopi codetalker. Rosa said Perry wouldn't want his code talker services recognized. “They took lives, and that’s something they didn’t want to be recognized for,” she said.
But Hopi Chairman Leroy Shingoitewa said Arizonans should know about the Hopi code talkers. “We feel that it is important that the state of Arizona and this great nation of ours know the history of what our people did for this country,” he said.
There are no surviving Hopi code talkers.
SCR 1009 is headed to the Senate floor. Lawmakers are also discussing plans to honor the 14 Native Americans who served in previous legislative sessions. Some of these former lawmakers were present.
James Henderson, Navajo, was a State Senator from 1985 - 1998. He said such a resolution would recognize the hard work of Native American lawmakers. “A lot of them they did represent their people, and they did a lot of good for their districts,” he said.
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