Ned tells the story of his life to his grandchildren when they ask about medals he has from WWII.
We start out learning how Kii Yazhi was taken from his Navajo home by the American system. His name was changed to Ned Begay and he was forced to give up any Indian ways and become like white people. The motto at Ned’s school was “Tradition is the enemy of progress”. Ned was a good student, but he never forgot his native language and traditions.
WWII begins and our country needs Navajo men to create a secret code that the Japanese will not be able to crack. They are the only ones who can do this. They provide our country a way to send and receive vital messages thereby saving countless American lives. Ned enlisted before he was 18 and served with the Marines in the Pacific war.
I learned how Native Americans wanted to and did help our country fight and win WWII. Sadly, I also learned how the American system treated Native Americans. Read this book and you’ll come away with a better understanding about the past in America. Maybe you can help make sure we are better in the future.
If you are interested in learning more, here is the Official Site of the Navajo Code Talkers:
Another interesting site is published by the U.S. government:
They even have two Facebook pages: