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North Dakota remembers its soldiers; North Dakota’s most decorated soldier recognized by state leaders

Updated: May. 31, 2021 at 6:46 PM CDT
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MORTON COUNTY, N.D. (KFYR) - Thousands paid their respects at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery Monday to the men and women who served our country.

It was a somber moment at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery as state leaders and the public remembered its soldiers.

It’s also an emotional moment for those gathering at the cemetery for the first time in two years.

“There’s just something right about us gathering here again today at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery to reflect and remember what Memorial Day is all about,” said Major General Alan Dohrman.

This year’s theme focused on the Korean War. Russell Hawkins, the stepson of North Dakota’s most decorated soldier, Master Sgt. Woodrow Wilson Keeble, spoke about his step-father receiving the Medal of Honor posthumously for his bravery.

“He was a true warrior who had no fear of death yet he had a great love for life,” said Keeble’s step-son Russell Hawkins.

Keeble fought in WWII and the Korean War receiving four purple hearts, two bronze and silver stars. The National Guard now honors Keeble with its own named award.

“The new, highest award in the North Dakota National Guard is the Woody Keeble ‘I am ready’ award,” said Governor Doug Burgum.

An award that will keep Keeble’s memory alive forever.

Master sergeant Woodrow Keeble was also the first Dakota-Lakota awarded the Medal of Honor.

clarification: An earlier version of this story stated Master Sgt. Woodrow Wilson Keeble was the highest ranked North Dakota soldier.

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