Code talkers have been honored throughout the years ever since the top-secret duties during World War II have been released to the public. The most recent honoring came as the state of Arizona officially honored the Hopi code talkers.
At a special ceremony conducted at the Hopi Veterans’ Memorial Center, the 10 Hopi code talkers, represented by their families, were recognized for their duties while serving in the United States Army and the United States Army Air Corps.
The celebration was to honor the following 10 individuals: Franklin Shupla, Warren Koiyaquaptewa, Frank Chapella, Travis Yaiva, Charles Lomakema, Percival Navenma, Perry Honani Sr. and Floyd Dann Sr. of the U.S. Army; and Rex Pooyouma and Orville Wadsworth of the U.S. Army Air Corps.
“The Hopi people have a proud history of service to the United States, from World War II, to the Korean Conflict, to Vietnam to the War on Terror,” LeRoy N. Shingoitewa said. “These men are true heroes and the Hopi Tribe could not be more proud of their accomplishments and contributions.”
The ceremony was emceed by Bruce Talawyma, a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, and included opening remarks by Clifford Qotsaquahu, a U.S. Army veteran; VaNiesha Honani, a U.S. Navy veteran and great-granddaughter of Code Talker Perry Honani Sr.; Herman Honanie, the Hopi Tribe’s vice chairman; and Shingoitewa, chairman of the Hopi Tribe.
The ceremony was a culmination of years of work between the Hopi Tribal Council and the Arizona Legislature. One of the guest speakers, Sen. Jack Jackson Jr., D-Window Rock, sponsored and introduced the resolution, SCR 1009, at the State Capitol during a recently completed legislative session on the 16th Annual Indian Nations and Tribal Legislation Day. Wording in the legislation that was unanimously passed encourages schools to teach about the contributions of the Hopi and other American Indian code talkers.
With two names being added to the list of Hopi code talkers, the tribal council recommended the design and purchase of a new bronze plaque to add Rex Pooyouma and Orville Wadsworth to the display at the Hopi Veterans Memorial Center monument. The original plaque with the other eight names was dedicated November 11, 2009.