ANCHORAGE, Alaska -Nearly three dozen tribes across the U.S., including two in Southeast Alaska, have received the highest civilian honor Congress can bestow for their service as code talkers in World Wars I and II.
|Picture from the linked article at ktuu.com|
According to a statement from Alaska’s congressional delegation, 33 tribal groups -- including the Central Council of Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska -- were honored with Congressional Gold Medals in a Wednesday ceremony in Washington, D.C. Three Alaskan representatives of the group, Commander William “Ozzie” Sheakley, William Thomas Jr., and code talker descendant Jeff David Jr., were present.
In addition to the gold medals awarded to the tribes, more than 200 Congressional Silver Medals were presented to code talkers and their families.“The critical role these men played in sparing the lives of fellow servicemen is remarkable,” [Alaska Representative Don] Young said. “By communicating in spoken code at places like Iwo Jima and Normandy, these fine men forever changed history. Because of them, we were able to relay real-time information on enemy positions, provide directions to troops on the ground, and gather intelligence that helped us end a dark time in the world’s history.”
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