Navajo Nation Council Pays Tribute to Late Navajo Code Talker Kee Etsicitty

Kee Etsicitty, 92, who served during WWII as Marine Corps Navajo Code Talker with the 3rd Marines 7th Division walked on on Tuesday, July 21, 2015. Navajo Times photo by  Donovan Quintero

Kee Etsicitty, 92, who served during WWII as Marine Corps Navajo Code Talker with the 3rd Marines 7th Division walked on on Tuesday, July 21, 2015. Navajo Times photo by Donovan Quintero

WINDOW ROCK, ARIZONA – The 23rd Navajo Nation Council held a moment of silence during the second day of the Summer Council Session, after learning of the loss of Navajo Code Talker Kee Etsicitty, who passed away on Tuesday at the age of 92. Etsicitty lived in the community of Chichiltah, located approximately 25-miles south of Gallup, New Mexico.

Council Delegate Seth Damon (Bááháálí, Chichiltah, Manuelito, Tsé Lichíí’, Rock Springs, Tsayatoh), who represents the Chichiltah community, learned of his passing and immediately called for a moment of silence to honor Etsicitty.

“I’m saddened to learn of the passing of another of our Nation’s warriors,” said Delegate Damon.

Throughout Tuesday’s session, delegates offered their sympathy and prayers for the family as they grieve for their loved one. Following the session, Speaker LoRenzo Bates (Nenahnezad, Newcomb, San Juan, Tiis Tsoh Sikaad, Tse’Daa’Kaan, Upper Fruitland) offered his condolences.

“Today, we heard the disheartening news of the passing of another protector of our Nation,” said Speaker Bates. “The Council offers its prayers and asks for strength and comfort for the family.”

At a young age, Etsicitty answered the call to serve his country in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1943, serving proudly as a Navajo Code Talker during World War II.

Speaker Bates said flags outside the Council Chamber will be flown at half-staff for the remainder of the Summer Council Session in honor of the late Code Talker.

“We are truly grateful for Code Talker Etsicitty’s sacrifices and those of his family,” added Speaker Bates. “He made our great Nation stronger and made our people proud to be Diné.”

President Russell Begaye is expected to issue a proclamation ordering all flags on the Navajo Nation to be flown at half-staff in honor of Code Talker Etsicitty. Funeral service arrangements have yet to be announced.

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