(CORNING) Ray “Bubba” Sorensen has finished painting another Freedom Rock.
The latest rock is one of ten rocks Sorensen is painting in 2013 as part of his Freedom Rock Tour. Beth Waddle, Adams County Economic Development Director, said the rock is located in downtown Corning on 6th Street in Memorial Rock Park, a place where people can go to honor our veterans.
“It will have a couple of benches and a picnic table if some family wants to stop in and have a picnic or sit and visit, we have a couple of memorial trees already transplanted into the park and we’re looking to raise money to be able to sod it this fall so we can have a beautiful park that not only has the just rock in it but is a time and place where people can come, remember our fallen heroes and pay tribute to all the veterans of Adams County that have served over the years,” explained Waddle.
Waddle said they put information in the newspaper to see what the community would like to see on the rock. They took all that information into consideration and worked with Sorensen who put together a mock sketch.
Sorensen said on the front side of the rock there is a Red Bull National Guard soldier leaning down with an air craft carrier in the background and an AC130 in the sky.
“I just kind of wanted to thank Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen… kind of all in one general theme and it says in a banner ‘Remembering our Heroes’,” said Sorensen.
The east side of the rock will feature portraits of Ronald Bunting of Corning who was killed in Vietnam, Billy Cooper of Carbon who was killed in Korea, and John Henry Thuman of Nodaway who was killed in World War II. Underneath their portraits is a folded flag.
“That’s just to represent the Adams County killed in action and they were the first killed in action is those respective wars,” explained Sorensen.
On the north side of the rock is an eagle with a ribbon in its mouth that says “Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain.” Draped over the top of the rock is an American flag.
No plans have been made for an official unveiling of the Freedom Rock in Adams County at this time, but Beth Waddle said they are thinking about doing it on Memorial Day of next year.
Sorensen painted the original Freedom Rock, located north of Greenfield, in 1999 after being inspired by the movie Saving Private Ryan. He said he painted the rock to thank our veterans and remind everyone what Memorial Day is all about. To keep the spirit of the rock alive, Sorensen has painted the rock every May for Memorial Day the past 15 years.
Sorensen is trying to put a Freedom Rock in every County in Iowa. Currently he has a Freedom Rock in, or has booked, 51 counties in the State. For more information or to book a tour, visit www.thefreedomrock.com.
(Photos courtesy of Beth Waddle)