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Memorial Day observance set for Woodbury Veterans Memorial

Ron Kane

The 2019 Woodbury Memorial Day observance will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, May 27, at the Woodbury Veterans Memorial. Color guards of the Woodbury High School Air Force Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps, the Patriotic Heritage Allegiant Honor Guard and Woodbury Boy Scout Troop 559 will lead the Woodbury American Legion / VFW Rifle Squad to the Veterans Memorial.

Woodbury Mayor Anne Burt will present the welcoming remarks. Ron Kane, member of Woodbury VFW Post 9024 and the Military Order of the Purple Heart, will give the Memorial Day address about his involvement in the battle for Hill 996 in South Vietnam while serving in D Company, 1/506 Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division.

It was 50 years ago when the 101st Airborne Division sent three battalions to battle elements of the North Vietnamese Army in the A Shau Valley, just 1 mile east of the Laotian border. The A Shau Valley was one of the key entry points into South Vietnam for men and material brought along the Ho Chi Minh trail by the North Vietnamese. Military historians have focused on the battle for Hill 937, which was a direct assault against a heavily defended and strategically insignificant hill, resulting in over 400 U.S. casualties and caused an outrage in the United States. Hill 937 is now infamously called "Hamburger Hill."

After reinforcing Hamburger Hill, D Company was ordered to cut a landing zone on top of Hill 996. The hill was taken, but 20 were killed in action and many wounded. One Medal of Honor, eight Silver Stars, and 46 Purple Hearts were awarded. Ron Kane was awarded a Silver Star and a Purple Heart.

Kane was born and raised in the Twin Cities, attended the University of Minnesota and was drafted into the Army. Following basic training at Fort Campbell in Kentucky, he attended Noncommissioned Officer School and Airborne School.

After Vietnam, Kane returned to the University of Minnesota and joined the Minnesota Army National Guard. During his 18-year career with the National Guard, Kane served many years as a full-time recruiter.

The Veterans Memorial is located just east of Woodbury City Hall, 8301 Valley Creek Road. Parking is available at City Hall and the Woodbury Public Safety Building, 2100 Radio Drive, and the Woodbury License Centre, 2150 Radio Drive.