LYMAN — Navajo Code Talker Samuel T. Holiday, 94, of Monument Valley, Utah, was arrested twice during WWII as a Japanese soldier when on duty for the United States.
Fortunately for Holiday, he was recognized by commanding officers and was released from custody.
Holiday was in the Valley last week and related the story of his contribution to the United States during WWII as a Navaho code talker. The Navaho code was instrumental in the ultimate defeat of the Japanese by the Allied Armies because the Japanese couldn’t break the code.
Holiday received a hero’s welcome by Valley residents and he appeared in several venues. He also was escorted to the Lyman High School by veterans, both in cars and on motorcycles, with law enforcement vehicles with flashing lights leading and bringing up the rear of the procession from the American Legion Hall in Fort Bridger. Some families were on the sides of the road and waved American flags as the procession travelled to Lyman.
Holiday was honored in a ceremony at Lyman High School by the students Thursday morning of last week, spoke at the senior center in Mountain View and was again on stage that night in the LHS auditorium. The winner of two Purple Hearts was welcomed in the evening program with applause and a standing ovation.
Gracee Becenti and Delaina Becenti stand behind Navaho code talker Samuel T. Holiday last week during his appearance at the Lyman High School auditorium.Holiday was brought to the Valley through a history project by Delaina. PIONEER PHOTOS/Virginia Giorgis