For many students at Detroit Lakes High School on Veterans Day, history class had the benefit of coming from a first-person perspective.
World War II veterans Alwyn Martinson and James Ramstad joined 63 other veterans from Lakes Country on Monday, Nov. 11, to share their stories. Veterans have visited the high school every other year since 2013.
While they reminisced about the good times, including tales of practical jokes they played while in the military, they also spoke about the horrors they saw on the battlefield.
After hearing stories from Martinson and Ramstad, student Caleb Tangen remarked on the experience, saying, "That is just something that is just really hard to believe and grasp because of how inhumane (it was)."
Though students also said they gained a valuable understanding of who soldiers are as people.
"The Army (and) the military want you to be this really disciplined individual, but they still find time to kind of be who they are," said Danny Heikes, a senior.
The veterans recounted some haunting memories from the past but said they were glad to tell their stories on Veterans Day so people will always remember what they sacrificed for their country.