6 Navajo code talkers to be honored

Posted on Oct 20 2005

Six Navajo code talkers will be honored Monday in a brief ceremony at American Memorial Park.

Military Veterans Affairs executive officer Ruth Coleman said four of the Navajo code talkers would actually grace the ceremony in person while two of them will remain in Guam.

She said the visiting Navajo code talkers are PFC Keith Little, PFC Sam Smith, PFC Albert Smith, and PFC Samuel F. Sandoval. Little, Smith, and Smith are from the 4th Marine Division, while Sandoval is from the 1st Marine Division. PFC Samuel Tso and PFC Teddy Drapper will not be able to join the ceremony. Both Tso and Drapper belonged to the 5th Marine Division during World War II.

Coleman said the visiting code talkers would be accompanied by crewmembers from a U.S. media production outfit that has been filming a documentary drama about the Navajo Code Talkers. The documentary, she said, is being filmed to benefit the students in the United States. The crewmembers will also be flying from Guam to Saipan on Sunday to witness the ceremony.

The brief ceremony will start at 4pm on Monday at American Memorial Park’s Court of Honor. Gov. Juan N. Babauta will be welcoming the code talkers, said Coleman. The governor, together with Lt. Gov. Diego T. Benavente, will be presenting certificates and coins to the code talkers. They will also be leading the laying of wreaths at the Court of Honor.

After the ceremony there would be a reception for the guests at the Dai-Ichi Hotel Saipan Beach.

The code talkers will proceed to the AMP Visitor Center at 7:30pm for a short presentation and a brief question and answer program. Coleman said everyone is invited to attend.

Also attending the ceremony on Monday will be the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3457 and the Committee for the 60th World War II Anniversary.

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