U.S. Military Memorial Tribute Paintings Are Completed After 10 Years

U.S. Military Memorial Tribute Paintings

Back in 2015 I shared with you Looking To The Past: The Veterans Educational Historic Project for which The Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery Memorial Association commissioned artist Charles Kapsner to embellish the cemetery’s Committal Hall with 5 large oil paintings, one for each branch of the US Military. At that time the first three paintings of the five had just been completed.

U.S. Military Memorial Tribute Paintings by Charles Kapsner

The large oil paintings by artist Charles Kapsner were created to honor of the Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Marine Corps and Air Force and took over ten years to complete. At the time I first introduced you to these, only The Army, The Navy and The Coast Guard paintings had been completed. Now, all five are finally finished.

The series “Looking To The Past: The Veterans Educational Historic Project” is comprised of five color oil paintings each of which measures 8′ x 10′ and are on permanent display in the Minnesota Cemetery’s Committal Hall. The paintings, each of which uniquely captures the spirit of each branch of service, took artist Kapsner over 10 years to complete.


Charles Kapsner, The Army Tribute Painting, 2011

Each represents all who served, commemorating their sacrifices in all wars, rather than eulogizing a particular war. Beyond being a memorial to our nation’s fighting men and women, the paintings will serve as an educational tool to help future generations understand our history and the vital role our military plays in maintaining our freedom and democracy.


Charles Kapsner, The Navy Tribute Painting, 2014

The paintings capture the spirit of each branch of service, vividly portraying the stories, faces, and sacrifices of our Nation’s servicemen and women. Many of the paintings’ subjects were actual Veterans and active duty personnel who sat for Kapsner.


Charles Kapsner, U.S. Coast Guard Tribute Painting, 2016

Now the two newest which were not featured in our previous post.


Charles Kapsner, The U.S. Marine Corps Tribute Painting, 2018

This painting also includes a small portion of soil brought back from Mt. Suribachi, where the iconic Raising the Flag photo on Iwo Jima was taken. Kapsner used the small portion of soil to grind in with paint as part of the depiction of the 1945 Marine Corps flag-raising.


Charles Kapsner, Air Force Tribute painting, 2019

The Air Force Painting (2019) was the fourth of the five 8 X 10 ft paintings comprising the Veterans Historic Art Monument, installed at the Committal Hall at the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery north of Little Falls, MN. This painting joins three previously completed ones shown above and depicts the history of, and contributions by our nation’s military men and women.

Kapsner sketches the first female Brigadier General, Sandra Best, for his fifth and final painting

During the unveiling of the final painting of the Veterans Educational Historic Monument, Charles Gilbert Kapsner received special recognition. In appreciation of his service to the Soldiers and Airmen of the Minnesota National Guard, Kapsner received the Superior Volunteer Service Award by the Adjutant General of the State of Minnesota, Jon A. Jensen. Presenting the medal to Kapsner was Brigadier General Lowell E. Kruse, Camp Ripley Senior Commander. Presenting the certificate was Brigadier General Sandra L. Best. Joining the platform was Brigadier General Daniel Gabrielli and Brigadier General Jon Safstrom.

If you’d like to see sketches and other details of the first three U.S. Military Tribute Paintings, be sure to visit our previous post here.

Charles Kapsner

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