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Photo of Navajo Code Talker Chester Nez in 1951 or 1952 in Idaho before going to the Korean War. / Chester Nez family/Special for The Republic

PHOENIX - Arizona on Thursday celebrated the Navajo servicemen whose use of the Navajo language created an unbreakable code that helped lead the Allies to victory over Japan in World War II.

This is the first year that Aug. 14 has been officially designated as Navajo Code Talkers Day in Arizona.

Gov. Jan Brewer ceremoniously signed a bill that passed unanimously in both the State House and Senate in July.

The date is the anniversary of Japan's surrender and the end of World War II. It has been used as a day of national commemoration for the Code Talkers since President Ronald Reagan first honored them in 1982.

The Code Talkers' service was not officially recognized until the project was declassified in 1968.

President Bill Clinton signed a law in 2000 awarding the original 29 Code Talkers the Congressional Gold Medal and other Code Talkers the Congressional Silver Medal.

The last of the original Navajo Code Talkers, Chester Nez, died in June.



Copyright 2014 USATODAY.com

Read the original story: Arizona celebrates Navajo Code Talkers Day

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