Oklahoma youth singers gear up for trip to France for D-Day commemoration

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Almost 100 youth singers from Central Oklahoma are gearing up for a trip to honor D-Day fallen soldiers and veterans in Normandy, France, in June.

"The Canterbury Youth Voices are rehearsing to go sing in Normandy, France for the 76th Commemoration of D-Day," said Joanie Gregory-Pullen of Canterbury Voices.

"I was really excited when I first heard about it. This is a huge deal for our choir, and it's such an honor to participate in such an event like this," said Madison Newberry, an 11th Grader.

Ninety-eight school kids from across Central Oklahoma were at Oklahoma City University on Saturday morning. They were fine-tuning their songs for the trip of a lifetime. The Canterbury Youth voices will be in the northern coast of France in June.

"I feel really honored because I know I am singing for an important event, and that a lot of people fought for it, and [I'm] just really honored," said seventh-grader Ivory Adelaide Robley.

The kids are there to sing, of course, but as they prepare, a French professor from the University of Central Oklahoma was brought in to teach the second through 12th graders about France and French culture. The kids are also learning about World War II.

"We had a lesson from an OU history professor on D-Day and what that means, and we had the great privilege of sitting at the feet of a 101-year-old Normandy veteran and hearing his stories, and it was pretty life-changing," said Gregory-Pullen.

"I think it's important because it was a really important event, because without it they wouldn't have the freedom that they have, and probably, they wouldn't be where they are today in France," Robley said.

"We wanted the singers to really understand why we are going there to commemorate the men and women who gave their lives for our freedom. Our goal is that they will learn what this really means and tell the next generation when the greatest generation is gone," Gregory-Pullen said.

Click here to learn more about the trip and the Canterbury Youth Voices.

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