Members of the Meskwaki Nation from Iowa were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal at a ceremony Wednesday honoring the Native American code talkers who served the United States in military in World Wars I and II.Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says representatives of the Meskwaki visiting from mostly Tama County were on hand. The Meskwaki Nation was among 33 tribes honored for their code talker service.
The code talkers used their native languages to communicate key military intelligence during wartime, befuddling U.S. enemies who couldn’t interpret the language. Their service is credited with saving lives.
Grassley and Iowa’s other Senator, Tom Harkin were co-sponsors of the legislation, enacted into law in 2008, that authorized Congress to present gold medals to the Native Americans who served as code talkers during foreign conflicts in which the United States was involved during the 20th century.
Information from Senators Grassley and Harkin’s office indicated they met with the Meskwaki representatives after the ceremony, as did Congressman Bruce Braley.Grassley’s office says the following individuals were either in attendance or invited to attend the ceremony:
Mrs. Theresa Lynne Mahoney, Descendant of Honoree Benson, Sac and Fox/Meskwaki; Mr. Robert John Roberts, Descendant of Honoree Roberts, Sac and Fox/Meskwaki; Ms. Ramona Norma Sanache, Descendant of Honoree F. Sanache, Sac and Fox/Meskwaki; Mr. Alvin Lee Sanache, Descendant of Honoree W. Sanache, Sac and Fox/Meskwaki; Ms. Melissa Rose Youngbear; Descendant of Honoree M. Wabaunasee, Sac and Fox/Meskwaki; Ms. Marguerite Youngbear Bass, Descendant of Honoree Youngbear, Sac and Fox/Meskwaki; Mr. Larry Craig Lasley Sr., Representative, Sac and Fox/Meskwaki; Mr. Robin Lee Roberts, Representative, Sac and Fox/Meskwaki; Mr. Ramakrishna Dhanwada, Representative, Sac and Fox/Meskwaki; Ms. Beatrice Youngbear, Tribal Council Member, Sac and Fox/Meskwaki; Ms. Shirlene Fawn Seymour, Descendant of Honoree Twin, Winnebago; Mr. Daniel Ray Wabaunasee, Descendant of Honoree Judie Wabaunasee, Sac and Fox/Meskwaki.
Photos courtesy of the offices of Tom Harkin, Chuck Grassley and Bruce Braley.