By Citlaly Leyva ‘21
Freshman Angelina Serna attended the 75th D-Day Commemoration in France on May 30 through June 10 in France as being a National Youth representative to the American Indian Council for celebration of those who fought in World War II.
D-day “was the greatest invasion in human history that, less than a year later, led to the liberation of Europe from Adolf Hitler’s Nazi tyranny,” claims Eisenhower Foundation. This annual meeting is held to “celebrate all the native veterans who fought in World War II on Normandy beach” said Serna. Many Native Americans from all the states will be attending this event.
Serna found out about this event from her mom and that she will be attending the event. When Serna first found out that she will be attending, she thought she was being “forced to go and do things [she] did not want to do”. However, she now realizes it will be an “eye-opening experience” involving her native culture.
What motivated her to attend this event was not knowing a lot about her native culture and her curiosity of wanting to learn more about it. Serna was picked for this role because of her excellent grades and other accomplishments she has made.
At the event, Serna interviewed different Native veterans who participate in the ceremony. Serna also prepared ribbon skirts for the ceremony which are worn during special occasions. She is nervous to interview the people, but she will do her best to not show it.
Every day at the event, Serna participated in different activities like a red carpet dinner, cultural ceremonies involving native dancers, and a ceremony for those who passed away in the war. Serna was excited to be around new people and explore a new country that she had not been to.
This is an amazing opportunity for Serna. This can open up opportunities for her to go to the next following years to represent Illinois in the American Indian council meeting again.