The Freedom Rock is an approximately 60 ton boulder located in SW Iowa. It is painted each year with a different Thank You to our Veterans to honor their service to our country.
The artist Ray “Bubba” Sorensen II was inspired by the movie Saving Private Ryan and also by Senator Chuck Grassley’s visits every year to every county in the state. Dubuque County has been accepted to have a rock painted. The Dubuque County Freedom Rock will be proudly located in Epworth, IA, in front of the new city hall.
To help make this dream come true, you can donate by sending donations to Resources Unite. All donations are tax deductible. We also will be selling pavers that will be put in the front of the plaza at a cost of $50.00 per paver. You will be able to have up to 3 lines engraved on the paver with 10 characters per line. What better way to honor your veteran hero?
You can purchase a paver by filling out the following form:
To learn more about the Freedom Rock Tour visit www.thefreedomrock.com.
Epworth Chosen for a Freedom RockIn the 1960’s a large limestone rock dug from a quarry was placed in Adair County a mile south of Interstate 80 exit #86 near Hwy 25 as an ad for the quarry. In subsequent years, the ad was often painted over and covered in graffiti. In 1999, Ray Sorensen II asked quarry owners if he could honor veterans with a painting on the rock for Memorial Day. Thus began the history of what is now called internationally “The Freedom Rock.” Each year for the last fourteen years, Ray has painted a new tribute on the rock. The one part of the mural that is never changed is the helicopter as it has the ashes of veterans mixed into the paint. For a visual of these paintings go to www.thefreedomrock.com
Because of the response he received from veterans, Ray proposed every county in Iowa should have a Freedom Rock honoring veterans and enhancing Iowa tourism as people would want to see all ninety-nine of the rocks. Ray has offered his mural painting skills to paint the rocks.
Cindy and Terry McDermott learned of this project and applied for a Freedom Rock to be placed in Dubuque County. They requested the Epworth City Council’s permission to place the rock in front of City Hall to the east of the flagpole, a site easily visible from Highway 20.
Receiving the city’s permission, Cindy began organizing the project further. She quickly received a donation of a large granite rock, a crane to lift it, and a semi to haul it. Before proceeding, however, a large concrete base has to be constructed. This will hold the rock and two additional flag poles for an Iowa state flag and MIA flag.
Estimated cost of the project is around $13,000. Victory Ford has held a fundraiser, which netted $3000. Other income will be raised by selling 750 memorial pavers honoring veterans, firefighters, policemen, and EMTs from Dubuque county. These will be embedded in the base.
Ray Sorensen has been contacted to paint the mural on the rock. He currently has around twenty-five rocks completed, and he is scheduled up to 2019. However, if Dubuque county has the funds and rock set to go, it may be moved up on his schedule. Though Ray researches each county for an appropriate patriotic theme for each rock, a committee will be formed to help decide on the final mural.
Proud to be an American and from Epworth? Call Cindy McDermott at 581-5446 to help with this project, which honors our veterans, as well as promotes Epworth as a tourist site.
*Donations to Resources Unite, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, are tax-deductible (Tax ID: 36-4761269) to the extent allowed by law.