Menlo, Iowa: Freedom RockContinually painted by Ray "Bubba" Sorenson II, the rock is covered with patriotic images such as Washington crossing the Delaware, the MIA logo, a plane launching from an aircraft carrier, and 9/11 rubble. In 2013 Bubba announced that he would paint Freedom Rocks in each of Iowa's 99 counties.
Visitor Tips and News About Freedom Rock
Stopped by Freedom Rock after reading about it via Roadside America and was fortunate enough to catch the artist (and his dog) hard at work updating the paintings. Nice guy, who was personally thanked by this vet for his dedication.[Rick Ornberg, 06/14/2012]
Rock that is painted every year to support our vets. Each year it's changed and has ashes of vets mixed into the paint. 33 miles west of Des Moines 1 mile south of 80 on Hwy 25.[Randy & Penny, 04/24/2012]
We enjoy visiting the rock every year to see what Bubba has created. Every side has a different design. They have added lights, a bench, flag pole and information board.[Candy Brown, 06/23/2006]
A huge granite boulder, a magnet for graffiti for many years, was first painted with a patriotic theme in 1999 by a local artist - Ray "Bubba" Sorensen. Each year since, for Memorial Day, he paints another patriotic scene over the entire rock. The Rock has been visited by tourists and veterans on a regular basis.
Despite the use of the Rock as a graffiti pad in the past, Ray's scenes have been unsullied (with a single exception in 2001). It is rumored that the vandal then repeatedly beat a Viet Nam vet's fist with his nose, discouraging further such experiments.
On Memorial Day 29 May, 2006, a new scene was unveiled.[Mark Desman, 06/14/2006]
"Bubba" has painted the rock for Memorial Day for at least four years, each year with different scenes. He also painted a Veterans Memorial wall in Veterans Memorial park in the town of Casey nearby. Postcards (and photos) showing each of the four scenes can be purchased from Patsy Ahnen at 1st Street Antiques, located at the intersection of 1st and Hwy. 92 (Kent Street) in Greenfield. Each "side" of the rock is painted with a different scene. It is quite a remarkable "monument".....[Dottie, 10/20/2003]
Painted by Ray Bubba Sorenson II, the rock appears to have an American flag draped over it, with illustrations on it sides of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in DC, Washington crossing the Delaware, MIA logo, a pilot taking off from an aircraft carrier, and fireman and the World Trade Center rubble. There are quotes from Thomas Jefferson, JFK, and George Bush Sr.