Veterans Educational Historic Art Project
The Veterans Educational Historic Project is being administered through a partnering arrangement with the Initiative Foundation, a charitable nonprofit Foundation with headquarters in Little Falls, MN.

Contributions of $1,000 or more will be publicly recognized on a granite memorial at the Cemetery upon project completion.

In Remembrance of Mr. Gordon Gerling

Dear Friends,

We are truly saddened by the loss of Mr. Gordon Gerling, Air Force Veteran and former state representative, who died on July 14th. It was through Gordon’s passion and commitment that the project came to life.  Gordon wanted something that portrayed how democracy has been preserved and protected, “something educational to help future generations understand our history and the role our military played in maintaining freedom and democracy.”

We hold his wife of 73 years, Bette, and his family in our thoughts and prayers. Gordon was a thoughtful, respectful and genuinely kind human being and we are grateful to have known him during his long life. He is already dearly missed.

Color sketch of Army painting

Mr. Gordon Gerling

Welcome to the Norwegian Home Guard!

For the third year in a row, Charles Kapsner has welcomed members of the Norwegian Reciprocal Troop Exchange to his studio. Shown here is Kapsner presenting Lt. Colonel Per Olav Vaagland with a giclee print of the US Army, the first painting completed for the Veterans Project. Kapsner is also joined by several members of the Norwegian Home Guard at the Committal Hall.

The exchange began in 1974 and is the longest-running military exchange partnership between any two nations. The yearly exchange promotes good will and sharpens military readiness between the nations as well as provides opportunities for cultural understanding among its participants.  The Norwegian Home Guard Soldiers are staying at Camp Ripley.

Kapsner is honored to host members of the Norwegian Home Guard, and will have Lt. Colonel Vaagland at his studio again this week to complete a drawing sketch of him. “It is a complete honor to engage with the intelligent, articulate and skilled members of the Home Guard. It’s the third year for me, last year Lt. Colonel Seland sat for me, and the year before it was Colonel Wold. This is a fantastic cultural exchange, given the great artistic heritage of Norway.”


Kapsner presenting Lt. Colonel Vaagland with a print of the US Army from the Project.

Kapsner presenting Lt. Colonel Vaagland with a print of the US Army from the Project.

Members of the Norwegian Home Guard at the Committal Hall

Members of the Norwegian Home Guard at the Committal Hall


Remembering Dr. Earl Potter

On behalf of the project team, the Minnesota State Veterans Memorial Association, and artist Charles Kapsner, we extend our heartfelt sympathy to the Potter family on the tragic loss of Dr. Earl Potter, III.

Dr. Potter was President of Saint Cloud State University, and he served in the U.S. Coast Guard from 1969 to 1993 and retired at the rank of captain. We are truly saddened by the loss of this wonderful man, committed Veteran, and champion of education. We hold his family in our thoughts.


                     Remembering Dr. Earl Potter, III



With thanks to all Veterans this Memorial weekend

This Memorial weekend, I am reminded of the great, and many, sacrifices of the men and women of all branches of the U.S. military. While the weekend is one that unofficially begins our Minnesota summer, its designation is a day on which those who died in active military service are remembered. The public is welcome to attend the memorial service at the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery on Sunday, May 29th with music starting at 1:30, and the program at 2:00. And if you are not able to attend this service, I hope you are able to attend another of your choice.

With gratitude to all Veterans,

Charles Gilbert Kapsner

A Youthful, Generous Donation!

A generous donation was made during the dedication of the Coast Guard painting, and came via the efforts of Bryce Soltis, this year’s Minnesota American Legion Auxiliary Honorary Department Junior President. She started her term in the fall, and chose the Project as her fundraising project. Her enthusiasm, warmth, generosity and caring heart were on full display during the event, where she is shown, below, with Greg Zylka, Fundraising Committee Member and Mayor of Little Falls.  Bryce’s dad, Alan Soltis, and grandfather Billy Soltis are buried at the Cemetery, which made the project dear to her. Thanks to Bryce for her generous commitment, and to her and her family for attending. What a terrific young lady!

Greg Zylka, accepting a donation from Bryce Soltis, American Legion and Auxiliary Honorary Department Junior  President

Greg Zylka, accepting a donation from Bryce Soltis, American Legion and Auxiliary Honorary Department Junior President


Soltis Project Description

Incase you missed it! Video from Lakeland Public Television

Coast Guard installation

Coast Guard Painting Installation: February 6th, 2016 at 2:00 PM

The Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery will host a reception Saturday, Feb 6th at 2 pm honoring the Coast Guard with the unveiling of the 8 X 10 foot oil painting recently completed. This painting is the third in a series of five, each depicting a branch of the US military (the Army and Navy are complete). Erik Sogge, Cemetery Administrator will serve as emcee. The program will include comments by  Dr. Earl Potter, President of St. Cloud State University, (Coast Guard Captain, retired). Additional comments will be shared by Little Falls Mayor Greg Zylka and the artist. An Honor Guard from the Duluth-based Coast Guard Cutter Alder will be present, along with Veterans from local Honor Guards including Sauk Rapids VFW, Rice and Waite Park American Legion Posts. Following the ceremony the public is invited to a reception at the Little Falls American Legion  Post 46 starting at 3:00 PM. Take time this Saturday afternoon to pay your respects and honor the Coast Guard.



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