ALTOONA, Iowa — After almost ten years the effort to put a Freedom Rock in all 99 Iowa counties, has succeeded. The effort started when Greenfield Artist Ray “Bubba” Sorensen painted a rock to honor veterans on Highway 25 in Adair County.
“I’d never seen that on a rock before, only graffiti,” said Sorensen.
The paintings each year honor different veterans starting Memorial Day weekend. People would stop from near and far to see the artwork to honor veterans. Then it continued when he painted a Freedom Rock in some other counties, and the next thing you know he was heading for all 99. Some towns who jumped on the chance were able to get the Freedom Rock over some other larger cities nearby.
After all 99 were painted, for the last rock, Sorensen put out a request for anyone to make a bid on where it should go. Altoona had the winning bid.
Then he had to decide what to put on this last rock.
“I started cramming so much into it and trying to put so much meaning into it and it became very over cluttered,” said Sorensen. “I kind of started throwing stuff overboard getting back to basics.”
He tied the Altoona Rock together with the Bondurant Freedom Rock with an Iowa Flag theme.
Sorensen and wife Maria, have three kids. Two of them spend time with their Dad painting, and the youngest one wants to also.
“I was trying to install a good work ethic for my kids“ said Sorensen. “Their vacations consist of any places that I get to be, they get to come up and enjoy, now, Adventureland.”
Now that Iowa Freedom Rocks are painted, Sorensen is working to paint Freedom Rocks in other states.
For more information on the Iowa Freedom Rocks click here.