Capitol Group OKs Native American Code Talkers Memorial

A memorial to Native American wartime code talkers is a step closer to reality in Pierre.

The Capitol Complex Restoration and Beautification Commission has unanimously approved the site and design.

Code talkers used their native languages to send battlefield communications during World Wars I and II so they couldn’t be understood by the enemy if they were intercepted.

The monument is to include the names of about 200 code talkers who were from South Dakota. State Veterans Affairs Secretary Larry Zimmerman says the goal is to unveil the memorial by fall 2017.

County veterans service officers are raising money for the memorial, with the help of the South Dakota Community Foundation. About half a million dollars is needed.