Military Sealift Command Public Affairs
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November 9, 2011
MSC Celebrates American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month
By Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Patrick Gearhiser, Defense Media Activity-Navy
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Representatives of the Navy's Military Sealift Command (MSC) gathered at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington D.C. to celebrate American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month Nov. 4.
This month recognizes the significant contributions these first Americans made to the establishment and growth of the United States.
The representatives were greeted by Rear Adm. Mark Buzby, commander, U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Command.
"I had the privilege to bring several members of my MSC headquarters staff here to the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian as part of our commemoration of American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month, which is going on through this entire month of November," Buzby said. "So we took advantage of this great facility that's here to learn more about the American Indians and their part in our history."
Buzby said that learning about Native Americans and their impact will help the nation and the Navy retain its strength through diversity.
"The heritage of American Indians is very important to the Navy because it adds to our diversity" he said. "The great strength of our Navy and the great strength of our armed forces is that cultural diversity, that tapestry that makes up our community."
He mentioned such heroes in military history as Commander Ernest Evans, who led his small group of Destroyers against a more powerful and numerically superior force in the Battle of Samar in World War Two.
Buzby also referenced the Navajo Code Talkers of World War II, whose unique language helped ensure messages were not intercepted by the enemy. This saved countless numbers of Allied service members.
"It's very important that we remember our past and remember the people that made up our past," he said. "American Indians are certainly part of our history, are a group that has made an impact on our Navy, and they've made an impact on our armed forces."
For more information about the history of Native Americans, visit http://nativeamericanheritagemonth.gov.
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