Native American code talkers honored at Crazy Horse

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Not many people today know about them, but during the two World Wars, that's how the Native American code talkers wanted it.
Sworn to secrecy, they used the power of their native tongue as a means of covert communication.

Jim Bad Wound says, "They were using their language to help save the country and protect their people and their families, and that was the main reason, love of the country, love of the people, that's why they did it."
While some tactics and strategies could be broken down by the enemy, the native language was one that could not be cracked.
"And were it not for the contribution of our Native American soldiers, Navy and Marines, these wars would not have been won."
Because it was such a silent operation, many family members of the code talkers didn't even know that part of their heritage until their veteran family members died.

Vermillion says, "Our grandfather didn't talk at all about anything when he was in the service so when he came out he just went back into ranching and did his normal things he used to do."
Eight South Dakota tribes were awarded Congressional Medals in 2013 for their dedicated code talkers...
"It has been customary for congress to award gold medals in honor of great acts or contributions and to commemorate significant historic events."
Members of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, Crow Creek Sioux Tribe, Oglala Sioux Tribe, Rosebud Sioux tribe, Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate Sioux tribe, Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the Yankton Sioux tribe were present today to honor their tribes' contributions.
At 11:11 a blast of the Crazy Horse Memorial left a cloud of smoke for spectators to take in.
11:11 was chosen to signify the day World War One ended, at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918.
The event was celebrated as part of Native American Heritage Month.