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‘Bringing strength and pride’: ‘Alą́ąjį’ naazíinii gather in prayer for military personnel, families

‘Bringing strength and pride’: ‘Alą́ąjį’ naazíinii gather in prayer for military personnel, families

WINDOW ROCK

It was a morning of prayers for the active-duty personnel.

A prayer service took place at the Veterans’ Memorial Park hours before the Council’s spring session Monday morning.

Chinle Council Delegate Shawna Claw proposed the ceremony. With the support from the Nation’s veterans groups, they planned it on the first day of spring session. The prayer service was for people to commemorate the active-duty service members.

Navajo Times | David Smith
A Diné Sáanii Siláołtsooí Color Guard member prepares to hoist the American flag during the “Prayers for our Active-Duty Personnel” ceremony Monday morning at the Veterans’ Memorial Park in Window Rock.

“Today’s ceremony was beautiful,” Claw said. “It started off with a magnificent sunrise as we heard the songs and prayers.

“I hope that those viewing online, especially our active-duty, are rejuvenated with the power of the songs and also the power of the prayers,” she said.
Claw said that its important to honor those who fought and died protecting the country and its people – not just those in the Navajo Nation, but also across the U.S.

Claw has three adult children serving in the military. Her oldest is in the Air Force stationed in Anchorage, Alaska, the second one is in the Army at Roswell, New Mexico, and her youngest is a Marine posted on Okinawa in southern Japan.

She wanted to bring comfort to the families of active-duty personnel amid the war in Ukraine and rising tensions in other parts of the world.
Claw said organizing a prayer service “comes with the duty of being a mother of soldiers.”
The service opened with a flag ceremony conducted by the Diné Sáanii Siláołtsooí Color Guard. Ch’óshgai Princess Ladayah Desiderio then sang the national anthem in Navajo and then the Pledge of Allegiance.

To read more, pick up the April 20 edition of the Navajo Times.


About The Author

David Smith

David Smith is Tódích’íi’nii and born for Dziłt’aadí. He is from Chinle and studied at Northern Arizona University. He studied journalism and English for five years while working part-time for NAU’s NAZ Today and the Lumberjack newspaper. After graduating in 2020, he joined the Navajo Times as a sportswriter for two years before leaving in September 2022. Smith returned in February 2023.

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