Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-01) presented Pueblo of Acoma Governor Gregg P. Shutiva and other Acoma leaders with a statement she submitted to the Congressional Record honoring the Acoma members who served as Code Talkers during World War I and II yesterday. On Wednesday, the Pueblo of Acoma was one of the Code Talker tribes awarded a Congressional Gold Medal at a ceremony in the U.S. Capitol. At a later date, the Pueblo of Laguna and other Code Talker tribes will also be honored with Congressional Gold Medals. Following the ceremony, Rep. Lujan Grisham spoke on the House floor in recognition of the Code Talkers’ service.
The text of the statement for the Congressional Record is below:
Mr. Speaker: November is Native American Heritage Month, and I rise today to honor the many contributions that Native Americans have made – and continue to make – to our nation’s proud history and culture.
Earlier today, we awarded the Congressional Gold Medal to Native American tribes whose members served as Code Talkers during World War I and World War II, including the Pueblo of Acoma, which is one of 22 Native American tribes that call New Mexico home.
The Pueblo of Acoma has been in existence for over 800 years and their original village, known as “Sky City,” sits atop a breathtaking mesa west of Albuquerque. To commemorate the Pueblo of Acoma’s service, the United States Mint has produced a specially-designed gold coin. One side depicts Code Talkers carrying out communications tasks, while the other side features the Pueblo of Acoma flag.
The Code Talkers proudly served our country with great honor and distinction. They transmitted vital information during some of the most dangerous battles, including every assault the Marines conducted in the Pacific from 1942 to 1945. Major Howard Connor, 5th Marine Division signal officer, had six code talkers working around-the-clock during the first two days of the Battle of Iwo Jima. He said if it weren’t for the Code Talkers, “the Marines would never have taken Iwo Jima.” Without the Code Talkers, the World Wars would have lasted longer and America would have suffered many more casualties.
Mr. Speaker, I am proud that the Pueblo of Acoma and the other Code Talker tribes are officially getting the thanks and recognition they deserve from a very grateful nation.