During World War II, the military needed an unbreakable code to keep information from the enemy, which is how the Navajo Marines contributed. They helped develop the top secret code that was used to transmit messages by radio. The men that carried the radios and spoke the language had to endure the same harsh battles as every other marine. My book, Code Talker, by Joseph Bruchac, covered the Navajo Marines in World War II, which had a profound impact on the life of the main character in the book because he was a code talker that fought within the Pacific Theatre.
Throughout the novel, there were many historical events that affected my main character. Those main events included the attack on Pearl Harbor, the invasions in the Pacific Theatre, and the bombing of Japan. On December 7, 1941, the Japanese launched a surprise attack on the U.S. fleet in Pearl Harbor, which caused the United States to get involved in the war. Once involved, the military, including the Navajo Marines, invaded many islands in the Pacific Theatre. Two of those invasions included American victories on the islands of Guam and Guadalcanal. The last main events were the bombings of Japan. On August 6, 1945, an atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima and one on Nagasaki on August 9, 1945. Those two attacks caused Japan to surrender and led to the end of World War II.
The main historical events impacted my main character in various ways. The attack on Pearl Harbor triggered the recruiting process for Navajos fluent in both Navajo and English. As soon as Ned Begay, my main character, learned about the recruiting, he wanted to enlist. When the invasions began, Begay had to get a quick understanding of the war. On each island, he dealt with a new situation. He quickly learned his own tactics that helped him to stay alive. With every battle, Ned saw something that would remain in his head and the whole time he was gone, he missed his sacred homeland. The atomic bombings are what caused the relief...
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