Veterans Memorial Mueseum of Branson
Inside The Museum Museum History Buying Tickets Gift Shop News Our Friends Veterans & Military Links Home
Museum History

Fred Hoppe Sr Mural
Fred Hoppe Sr Mural  
The vision of a rural Nebraska man, Fred Hoppe, has created what the Veterans Task Force calls one of the "greatest tributes ever completed to honor our country's veterans!"

Fred Hoppe was inspired by the stories and sacrifices he heard about from his father (Fred Sr.) and the men that fought alongside his father during some of World War II's bloodiest battles. Fred Hoppe Sr., is honored with a mural and a special exhibit in the museum depicting his heroic rescue of a wounded fellow soldier.

Along with designing, funding, and building the Veterans Memorial Museum in Branson, Missouri, Fred Hoppe also collected and then wrote the scripts for over 2000 rare military artifacts he donated for use to the museum. After spending four years trying to raise money for a memorial to honor the veterans of the 20th Century and with over 36 foundations turning him down, Fred says, "It became apparent that I would have to take things into my own hands. The experts kept telling me that it would take six years to complete a project of this magnitude, however with our veterans dying at a rate of over one thousand per day, I was driven to finish this project quickly."

Fred Hoppe Sr Display
Fred Hoppe Sr Display  
Fred worked 18-hour days, seven days a week, living up to his pledge to complete the project in just 10 months. The museum officially opened on November 11, 2000.

Designing and participating in the construction of the building, Hoppe even cut up 70 tons of logs in a homemade sawmill in his backyard to provide siding and lumber for the museum's 18,000 square feet building. "Along with saving money, this allowed me to personally make sure that every aspect of the building reflected the quality our veterans deserve," said Hoppe.

Veterans Memorial Sculpture
Veterans Memorial Sculpture  
After researching and interviewing veterans for over 25 years, Hoppe personally wrote the scripts for each of the displays. Arranging with combat artist James Dietz, Mike Hagel, and others to create dozens of combat murals, Hoppe has painstakingly detailed the history of our nations valiant fight for our liberties during the 20th Century.

Fred even created a stunning 70-foot long bronze sculpture consisting of 50 life-size soldiers running up a beach. A combat soldier from each of the 50 states was used as models for the life-size figures. Fred Hoppe Sr. is also the model for the lead soldier in the world's largest war memorial bronze sculpture. This sculpture is now schedule to be displayed on Hwy 76 after the City of Branson purchased it in 2016.

Branson Veterans Memorial Museum
Veterans Memorial  
Museum of Branson  
Hoppe, an internationally known sculptor, created this amazing memorial bronze while building the museum; collecting the exhibits; arranging financing, management and marketing of the museum; and supervising every other detail of this incredible vision. Hoppe said, "Our Veterans deserve the very best tribute we can give them and the ideal location for this museum was in Branson, Missouri where veterans are honored every day and patriotism is still celebrated."

The exhibits in the museum cover WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, and all other recent conflicts during the 20th Century. The center great hall of the museum has walls that list over 400,000 names of the men and women killed in action during WWII. Throughout the museum the walls of each great hall contain the names of those killed in action during Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, and other conflicts of the 20th Century.

Hoppe states, "Along with the Veterans Memorial Museum being an artistic memorial to our veterans, we want to evoke from our visitors an emotional response to the far reaching implications of war and the undeniable courage of those who stood strong in the face of the enemy. Above all, this memorial is a gesture of thanks to all who died to defend these freedoms we enjoy today."

Fred Hoppe

Contact Us 417 336-2300 Veterans Memorial Museum