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Congressional Silver Medal presented posthumously to Navajo Code Talker

Benjamin Nagurski, center, receives the Congressional Silver Medal on behalf of his late father Adolph Nagurski, a Navajo Code Talker in World War II, during a ceremony April 3 in Albuquerque, N.M. U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, of New Mexico, second from left, presented the medal. Thomas Begay, far left, one of the few surviving Navajo Code Talkers, and Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye, second from right, also participated in the ceremony. (Photo courtesy office of Sen. Martin Heinrich)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A Congressional Silver Medal was presented to the family of the late Navajo Code Talker Adolph Nagurski during a ceremony April 3 in Albuquerque, N.M. U.S. Sen. Martin

Heinrich, of New Mexico, made the presentation at the New Mexico Veterans Memorial site. Nagurski earned the medal, but didn’t receive it before he died.

According to Heinrich’s office, Nagurski’s family had attempted to get the medal for more than 14 years after Nagurski was unable to attend a medal ceremony in 2001 due to health reasons.

“This recognition is long overdue for the sacrifices Adolph Nagurski made to protect his nation, his homeland and secure the freedom we enjoy today,” Sen. Heinrich said.

Speakers also included Nagurski’s son Benjamin, Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye, Navajo Nation Veterans Administration Director ret. Lt. Colonel Tracey Clyde, Navajo Nation Council Speaker LoRenzo Bates, and Navajo Code Talker Thomas H. Begay, who knew and worked with Nagurski.

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