Freedom Rock

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The Freedom Rock (also known as the Patriotic Rock) is a 12-foot-tall (3.7 m) boulder located along Iowa Highway 25 near Menlo in western Iowa approximately one mile (1.6 km) south of exit 86 on Interstate 80. The boulder weighs approximately 56 short tons (51 t; 50 long tons).[1]

The rock is located on private property and was used for graffiti. Since 1999, however, it is repainted every year in time for Memorial Day with the purpose of thanking U.S. veterans and their families for their military service and sacrifice. The rock is painted by Ray "Bubba" Sorensen II from Greenfield.[2][3] Sorensen is not commissioned or paid to paint The Freedom Rock, he uses his own money along with donations and sales of Freedom Rock merchandise to fund the project.[4]

In the Spring of 2013, Sorensen began The Iowa Freedom Rock Tour by painting a Freedom Rock (patriotic themed rock) in every county in Iowa at a cost of [5] $5,000 USD plus lodging & supplies per rock, creating a unique statewide veterans memorial for the state. The rocks placed in each county will not be repainted every year.[6][7] He expected to take ten years to complete the painting of a freedom rock in each of Iowa's 99 counties, but in a 2016 update interview during only his fourth year of his Iowa tour, he expects to complete the Iowa tour in seven or eight years and has only ten more counties in Iowa to book.[2][3] As he completes the last four years of his Iowa tour, he will begin a nationwide 50 state tour.[2][3] He plans to paint some freedom rocks of the 50 state tour in warmer places than Iowa during December, January, and February, starting with Alabama in the winter of 2016-7.[3] On October 27, 2016, the Greene County's Freedom Rock which is located in front of the grain elevator in Jefferson became the 55th rock he has painted in Iowa.[8]


  1. ^ Anderson, Sylvia (July 5, 2009). "The rock that moves people". St. Joseph News-Press. Saint Joseph, Missouri. Retrieved December 16, 2009. 
  2. ^ a b c "Artist Bubba Sorensen Finishing Statewide Freedom Rock Tour at Astonishing Pace". Perry, Iowa: Raccoon Valley Radio. February 24, 2016. Retrieved February 24, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c d Zupkoff, Andrew (February 24, 2016). "Let's Talk Guthrie County 2/24/16 — Freedom Rock Tour Update". podcast. Raccoon Valley Radio via KMCD. Retrieved February 27, 2016. 
  4. ^ Banusiewicz, John D. (November 17, 2003). "Artist Turns Iowa Graffiti Rock into Military Tribute". American Forces Press Service. Washington, D.C. Retrieved February 24, 2016. 
  5. ^ Curtis, Pat (July 4, 2014). "Sixteen Iowa counties now have their own "Freedom Rock"". Radio Iowa. Retrieved February 24, 2016. 
  6. ^ Sorensen, Ray "Bubba". "The Freedom Rock FAQs". The Freedom Rock website ( Retrieved February 24, 2016. 
  7. ^ Munson, Kyle (November 29, 2012). "A different sort of rock tour: Painted boulders in all 99 counties in Iowa". The Des Moines Register. Des Moines, IA. Retrieved November 29, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Freedom Rock Unveiled to Eager Greene County Crowd". Jefferson, Iowa: Raccoon Valley Radio. October 28, 2016. Retrieved October 28, 2016. 

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Coordinates: 41°28′30″N 94°27′08″W / 41.4749°N 94.4522°W / 41.4749; -94.4522