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Korean War veteran, Navajo police officer honored

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More than three decades of public service

Staff Reports

GANADO, Ariz. - Navajo Nation Vice President Myron Lizer presented the Navajo Nation flag and proclamation to the family of Korean War veteran and retired Navajo Police Officer Oliver Leo Kirk, Sr. during a funeral service held Dec. 4 at the All Saints Mission Church in Ganado, Ariz.

Kirk passed away Nov. 28 at the age of 88. Kirk was originally from Ganado, Ariz. where he resided at the time of his passing. His wife, Maggie Jane Kirk, their children, grandchildren, and other family members were seated in the front row as Lizer, Navajo police officers, comrades, community members, and friends of Kirk paid tribute and shared personal stories and memories.

On Dec. 2, Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and  Lizer issued a proclamation ordering all flags on the Navajo Nation to be flown at half-staff.

Kirk served in the Korean War from March 2, 1953 to April 4, 1955, where he was wounded and awarded several service medals.

Upon his return to the Navajo Nation, following an honorable discharge from the U. S. Army, he became a Navajo police officer with the Dilkon Police District for more than 34 years.

Lizer said, “Mr. Kirk leaves behind a great legacy for his family, the Navajo people, and our entire country. We owe a debt of gratitude to him and his loved ones for the many sacrifices during his years of service.  We pray for him and his family at this time.

“Mr. Kirk leaves behind a great legacy for his family, the Navajo Nation, and our entire country. He was a protector and warrior of our people and our communities. I am certain he saved many lives during his time with us. He will be remembered in our hearts forever. May his family take comfort in knowing that he is in the hands of God now,” Nez said.

The Tséhootsooí Twin Warrior Society conducted the flag-folding ceremony of the American flag to pay tribute to the service and life of Kirk. Oliver Leo Kirk, Sr. was laid to rest at his family’s plot in Ganado, Ariz.

Kirk is survived by his wife Maggie Jane Kirk.  Together they had 13 children and 37 grandchildren.