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Life of Navajo Code Talker celebrated

Meg Hilling
October 12, 2017 08:31 PM

SHIPROCK, N.M. -- More than 100 people gathered Thursday, to celebrate the life of a national treasure.

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"Anywhere you go in this country and parts of the world, when you say Navajo Code Talkers, everyone knows who they are. They know their names," Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye said.

U.S. Marine veteran David Patterson Sr. is one of those names.

"The nation, Navajo, United States and the world, we are grateful that the code talkers did their service," Begaye said.

Patterson and his fellow code talkers used the Navajo language to code military messages during World War II.

"And they saved the world for themselves, they saved us," Begaye said.

And left memories behind for generations to come.

"He had this 1969 green Ford Falcon," family member Curtis Benally said. "I was all excited being a teenager and getting the chance to drive.”

"The Navajo Nation has suffered the loss of our beloved mentor, hero, and brave warrior," Begaye said.

Like the Code Talkers who passed before him, Patterson is sparking one nation's drive to continue to be heard.

"Always speak your language. Teach your children this powerful language that the creator gave us," Begaye said. "Our language is powerful. Our language changed a world. Our language saved a world. Our language is why we are sitting here today in the land of the free."

Credits

Meg Hilling

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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