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Downtown Phoenix event celebrates Navajo Code Talkers

On Sunday, residents gathered in downtown Phoenix to celebrate National Navajo Code Talkers Day. The event at Wesley Bolin Plaza honored the members of the U.S. Marine Corps who used the Navajo language to relay unbreakable coded messages during World War II.

Ronnie Towne, the daughter of code talker and state senator Arthur J Hubbard Sr., spoke during the ceremony.

“With so many bad things going on in the world today, we forget to say thank you, and we forget to remember the good things,” Towne said. “So today, when you leave, take the good stuff with you and pass it on.”

The event also featured a keynote speech from Thomas Begay, one of only three surviving Navajo Code Talkers.

Nick Sanchez is a senior producer for KJZZ's The Show. He joined the station as an intern during the spring of 2022, where he developed a passion for audio storytelling in the Valley.