Native Village
Youth and Education news
Volume 1 February 2012 

Late Code Talker Keith Little Lauded:
If It Wasn't for These Guys, We Wouldn't be Here

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President Ben Shelly hands Nellie Little, Keith Little's wife, a Navajo Nation Flag






President Ben Shelly hands Nellie Little, Keith Little's wife, a Navajo Nation Flag

Arizona - Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly delivered a commanding statement of gratitude in a keynote address during a memorial service for Navajo Code Talker Keith Little.

“You are here because of the Navajo language, because of the Navajo Code Talkers. If it wasn't for these guys, we wouldn't be here,” the President said.

President Shelly was among several people who offered words of condolences at the service held in Window Rock Sports Center. Others sang songs offering prayer. About 150 people attended the hour and half long ceremony.

Navajo Code Talkers were dressed in their finest to honor Code Talker Little. They wore their Navajo style gold velveteen shirts.  Other veterans from various military branches were clad in military attire and clothing from their veteran based organizations.

Eddie Little consoles his mother
Eddie Little consoles his mothe

All came to honor Code Talker Little as a leading visionaries for the Navajo Code Talkers Association and the Navajo Code Talkers Foundation. The foundation has spent several years raising money for a Navajo Code Talkers Museum and Veterans Center to be built near  Window Rock.

Code Talker Little was remembered for saying that the museum could be built if every American donated one dollar. President Shelly repeated that statement.

“Let's do our part, ”President Shelly urged the attendees. His statement was met with applause.

Navajo Code Talker Samuel Tso delivered the opening remarks. "He will live with us forever," Code Talker Tso said of his comrade. He added that both he and Code Talker Little were in Iwo Jima in 1945, but didn't meet until after the war.

President Shelly shared a story about some of his travels with Little.  This story took place during a parade in New York:

Shelly said he was talking with Code Talker Little and about how cold the air was. Then someone gave them a blanket to stay warm.

"I still have that blanket that we were given," President Shelly said. "I will keep it forever."

Funeral services for Code Talker Little were held in Fort Defiance, Arizona with the burial following in Crystal, New Mexico.

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