yá’át’ééh

By kateandcarla

November 27, 2010

Category: Uncategorized

1 Comment »

 
If The Great Spirit has a cathedral, I firmly believe it’s in Monument Valley. 
The magnificent red spires. The Mittens. 
The way the color palette turns from deep blue, rose and lavender in the morning to shimmering russet, green and gold in the afternoon.
 
The small town of Kayenta considers itself the gateway to this natural magnificence and rightfully claims a second, very human wonder. 
For in a Burger King on Highway 163 is a most heartfelt tribute to the Navajo Code Talkers. http://library.thinkquest.org/J002073F/thinkquest/Code_talkers.htm
 
Most of us know fragments of this story—how an unwritten Native language provided the U.S. military a powerful edge in winning World War II. 
We learn a bit more each time one of the remaining Code Talkers passes.  
And recently, we read how a new museum dedicated to these word warriors is a bit closer to being built.
 
Today, as my grandson-by-grace Rowan looked at the artifacts behind the glass, I thought about three things.  
First, how this bright-futured boy had entered the world on the 60th anniversary of the Japanese surrender.  
Second, how ironic and wonderful that a critical piece of history has been so humanized as to be comfortably housed in a hamburger shop.  
And third, about the power of language when used with purpose.
 
Makes me proud to be a peaceful word warrior.
And yá’át’ééh?

It means “hello.”

– Carla

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One Response to “yá’át’ééh”

  1. A postscript to the preceding story: My friend Will, who is Navajo by adoption, tells me yá’át’ééh is better translated as “It is good.” Even better. 😉 C.

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