WINDOW ROCK – In recognition of Veterans Day, members of the 23rd Navajo Nation Council honor and remember all of the men and women who have served and sacrificed in the Armed Services, many of which have sacrificed their lives for the Navajo Nation and the entire country.

“On behalf of the Navajo Nation Council, I ask our Diné Citizens to join us in thanking all of our men and women who have served and protected our homelands and for those who gave their lives in battle,” stated Speaker LoRenzo Bates. “I also ask you to join us in prayer for our Navajo men and women who are currently serving across the world as we ask for their protection and safe return home.”

Speaker Bates also reflected on the brave service of the Navajo Code Talkers and offered condolences to the families of Code Talker Dan Akee who passed away on Oct. 14, and Code Talker George James, Sr. who passed away on Wednesday.

During Thursday’s Naabik’iyátí’ Committee meeting, Council Delegate Otto Tso presented an honorary plaque and a Navajo Nation flag to Marmelita Bustamante, the daughter of the late Dan Akee, who served in the United States Marine Corps during World War II and passed away at the age of 94.

Delegate Tso, who represents the Code Talker’s hometown of Tuba City, thanked the family for their sacrifices and also recognized Margaret Akee, the wife of Dan Akee who passed away on Wednesday – only 25 days after her husband’s passing.

“On behalf of the Navajo Nation Council, we honor and remember the late Sgt. Major Dan Akee for his military service to protect the Navajo Nation and the United States,” said Delegate Tso.

Holding back tears, Bustamante thanked the Council for their support as she reflected on the love and compassion that her parents had for their family and for the Navajo Nation.

“I appreciate your help and I thank you for honoring my dad,” said Bustamante.

Council Delegate Kee Allen Begay, Jr., a four-year U.S. Army veteran, also offered his appreciation and support to all veterans.

“I express my appreciation and gratitude to all of our Navajo veterans, those who served and continue serving. We also remember those who have departed and we continue to pray for their families. As your legislature, we continue to address your concerns regarding the veterans administration and its operation to provide quality service to our Navajo veterans,” stated Delegate Begay.

Speaker Bates extends his appreciation to his Council colleagues for honoring and remembering all veterans and for their continued support and service for them.