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Comanche "Code Talkers" honored by tribe, City of Lawton

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  • Robert Schmidt
    http://www.kswo.com/Global/story.asp?S=9075811 Comanche Code Talkers honored by tribe, City of Lawton Posted: Sep 25, 2008 03:07 PM During World War II,
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 30, 2008
      http://www.kswo.com/Global/story.asp?S=9075811

      Comanche "Code Talkers" honored by tribe, City of Lawton

      Posted: Sep 25, 2008 03:07 PM

      During World War II, Native American soldiers were a key part of the
      allies' success, because the US Military used them to send secret messages
      in their native language, and it could not be decoded by the enemy.
      Comanches were one of more than a dozen tribes who participated in the top
      secret program that employed the "Code Talkers."

      As the official kickoff to the Comanche Nation Fair, the tribe's museum
      unveiled an exhibit dedicated to the "Code Talkers." The "Native Words,
      Native Warriors" exhibit is a travelling exhibit on loan from the
      Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian in Washington DC.
      While the artifacts, photographs, and letters pay tribute to all of the
      "Code Talkers" of the war, the museum is placing special emphasis on the 17
      Comanche men who helped communicate critical messages during the war.

      It took a machine up to four hours to transmit and decode a message, but
      the "Code Talkers" could do it in less than three minutes - their codes
      were never broken. On Thursday, the Comanche tribe paid tribute to each of
      their own. As each name was read, a family member accepted a blanket to
      honor their relative's service to the country. Vivian Gooday's brother and
      cousin were two of the "Code Talkers" "I felt proud...I felt real proud to
      be there for my brother," she said. The museum's exhibit tells the story
      of the men's lives in photographs and artifacts depicting what they endured
      during World War II.

      Comanche Tribal Chairman Wallace Coffey says the men show how important
      indigenous language is. "We have a problem with language in America," he
      said. "Everyone is saying, ‘English only,' but what they fail to realize
      is our Indian Nations. We were born with an original language. We are
      trying our best to embrace our language. We are trying our best to utilize
      it in day to day experiences." The secrets of the "Code Talkers" language
      were so well kept that the Germans remained puzzled about the code for many
      years following the war.

      Thursday morning the United States House passed Bill 4544 - "The Code
      Talker Recognition Act" - and it's now on its way to the senate. The City
      of Lawton also has declared September 25 "Comanche Code Talker Day." The
      "Native Words, Native Warriors" exhibit will be on display at the Comanche
      Nation Museum through November 30, and the 17th Annual Comanche Nation Fair
      will continue through Sunday at the Comanche Nation Complex.
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