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Governor issues statement on Navajo Code Talkers Day, groundbreaking celebration for Navajo Code Talkers Museum

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham issued the following statement on Sunday commemorating national Navajo Code Talkers Day and the groundbreaking of the Code Talker Museum in Tse Bonito, New Mexico:

“Of the over 400 original Navajo Code Talkers, only three remain today: Peter MacDonald, John Kinsel Sr. and Thomas H. Begay. These three men, along with the hundreds of others of Diné who selflessly served this country during World War II, deserve to be remembered always for what they did. As we recognize their sacrifices in support of our nation today, we also celebrate the groundbreaking of the Navajo Code Talker Museum, which will memorialize forever the contributions of these heroes.

“The Navajo Code Talker Museum is a project that is near and dear to my heart. When the late Sen. John Pinto came to me in 2019 and asked for my support in getting the project off the ground, I immediately got to work. In the end, I committed half a million dollars of capital outlay funds and legislators rallied to commit the other half – and today, we are making his idea a reality. I am grateful to Sen. Pinto for his vision for this incredible museum, and I commit to him that we will continue to provide the resources necessary to complete this important project.

“The Japanese never broke their code, saving many American lives. Their steadfast service to a nation that had systematically underserved and undervalued Indigenous people is a true testament to their character, and a debt that we will never be able to fully repay.

“I am incredibly proud that the Navajo Code Talker Museum will be here in New Mexico, the home of so many Code Talkers. May it serve as an inspiration for all of us, but especially the young people of the Navajo Nation. On behalf of the state of New Mexico and the nation, I salute and honor Mr. MacDonald, Mr. Kinsel Sr., Mr. Begay and every Navajo Code Talker – today and always.”