In honor of Veterans’ Day and Native American Heritage Month, the Portales Public Library and the New Mexico Humanities Council are sponsoring an appearance by Judith Avila at the local library at 4 p.m. Monday.
Please join us as Judith discusses Navajo code talkers in World War II and brings forth the life story of Chester Nez one of the original 29 code talkers.
Judith, a graduate of Duke University, met Chester Nez in 2007 and realized the compelling story he had to tell. She has written his biography, “Code Talker,” to be published by the University of New Mexico Press in 2011.
Her lecture will discuss Chester’s earliest years growing up on the Navajo Reservation in the Checkerboard Area of the Arizona-Utah border, following him through his war experience. Her extensive research will allow her to focus special attention on the use of code talkers in World War II when the Navajo language was used as an encrypted code which the Japanese were never able to break
Chester Nez is one of only three survivors of the original 29 Marine recruits used as code talkers. The original recruits helped develop the code used by the talkers by using a Navajo word for each letter of the English alphabet. They were sent overseas into extremely dangerous situations, and their stories have been told in numerous books and movies.
Finally, a personal presentation of their story will be presented to our community through this program.
All functions are free of charge, and everyone is warmly invited to attend.
Information: Danielle Swopes at 356-3940.