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Nathaniel Yokota

Local 7th-grader selected to go to France with Bridge to History

By Catherine Yokota–

Nathaniel Yokota, a twelve-year-old seventh grader and a new resident of Ridgecrest, was just selected to be one of only seven kids in the United States to go to Normandy, France, this fall with an international children’s program called Bridge to History.

Bridge to History is a special program for preteen American students. It takes them to London, England, and the battlefields of Normandy, France, for ten days in October to take part in events that honor WWII veterans and learn about WWII and  D-day. Nathan and one parent chaperone will visit all five Normandy beaches, WWII cemeteries, landmarks, and cathedrals, attend special ceremonies that honor WWII veterans, and so much more.

According to his mother, Catherine Yokota, Nathaniel has been passionate about history his whole life and dreams of becoming a military historian someday. He has worked hard to earn the honor of attending Normandy with Bridge to History. He went through an application process that had him writing an essay, making a video, and answering questions about WWII that would challenge most adults. This opportunity is an honor and a dream come true for him and his entire family.

According to his mother, when Nathan returns, he will have the important job of sharing what he has learned with future generations. As the last of the WWII veterans begin to pass away, Nathan and other kids who become ambassadors for Bridge to History will have the responsibility of carrying on their legacy and “passing on the torch” to future generations.

Bridge to History requires each of the families to raise $1,500 for the trip. Since Ridgecrest is a military community, we hope that some residents would contribute to helping Nathan go to Normandy.

To make a donation, community members may go to and click on the “donate” button. Please be sure to specify that the donation is to help Nathan go to Normandy.