Navajo Nation Honors Fallen Warriors on Memorial Day

Published May 29, 2018

WINDOW ROCK — On Memorial Day people across the Navajo Nation are commemorating the soldiers who died in service to this country for their devotion, honor and personal courage.

During the annual Memorial Day event held at the Navajo Veterans Memorial Park, in Window Rock, President Russell Begaye said, “This nation will never forget the heroes, the warriors that made the ultimate sacrifice so we could be here today enjoying the freedom that we have. It’s the sacrifices of our people, and of the other warriors in this country, that need to be remembered, and must never be taken for granted. We say thank you to them today.”

President Begaye and retired Lt. Col. Tracey Clyde, director of Navajo Nation Veterans Administration, conducted a wreath presentation at the park and placed two wreaths by the wall of fallen and missing soldiers.

“No other nation goes through the effort that the United States does to recover and pay tribute to its fallen warriors. Those efforts are part of the sacred trust that exists between our nation and our military,” Clyde said. “This trust says for every military member, and every veteran, that their sacrifices will not be forgotten.”

Memorial Day is held on the last Monday of May for the United States and on June 1 for the Navajo Nation, which coincides this year with the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of 1868. Through the negotiations made by our ancestors, the Navajo people returned home after being relocated to Bosque Redondo after the Long Walk.

“Long before signing the Treaty of 1868, our Diné warriors defended this country,” Vice President Jonathan Nez said. “As part of the treaty, we returned to the home our ancestors loved. Since time immemorial, our people have never hesitated to defend this country.  On this day we honor the fallen who gave the ultimate sacrifice while serving the United States bravely, with pride and with honor.”

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