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Weekend event to unveil military painting

LITTLE FALLS--A public dedication of a painting honoring the Marine Corps will take place Saturday, May 26, at the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery.

LITTLE FALLS-A public dedication of a painting honoring the Marine Corps will take place Saturday, May 26, at the Minnesota State Veterans Cemetery.

The 2:30 p.m. event will unveil the painting, the fourth of five 8-by-10-foot paintings comprising the Veterans Historic Art Monument by Minnesota artist Charles Kapsner. The paintings are installed at the Committal Hall at the cemetery north of Little Falls.

This painting joins three previously completed ones: Army (2011), Navy (2014) and Coast Guard (2016). Each depicts the history of, and contributions by the nation's military men and women.

Veterans and active duty military serve as models, and 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. The artist used the small portion of soil to grind in with paint as part of the depiction of the 1945 Marine flag-raising.

The dedication and ceremony program includes veterans and active duty personnel, some of whom served as models in the painting, dignitaries, Marine Corps re-enactors and the artist. Refreshments and tour of the painting will follow the formal program, which includes:

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• Brig. Gen. Lowell Kruse, Camp Ripley;

• David P. Swantek, senior administrator of memorial affairs, Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs;

• Erik B. Sogge, cemetery administrator, Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs;

• Veterans and active duty personnel depicted in the painting, including retired Col. Roy T. Edwards, Maj. Holly Zabinski, retired Sgt. Cory Engen and retired Sgt. Quintin Sam;

• Artist Charles Kapsner;

• Greg Zylka, mayor of Little Falls; and

• Valhalla Detachment, Marine Corps League, St. Cloud.

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