Freedom Rocks

Memorial Day is a US federal holiday wherein the men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces are remembered.  THANK YOU to all who have served!


Ray “Bubba” Sorensen II is on a quest.  To honor our veterans. This likable young man has a gift and a passion to honor every veteran who has served and who has made a difference.  He watched the movie “Saving Private Ryan” and was inspired to do something that would be a unique way of acknowledging their service. His artistic talent enabled him to paint an 60 + ton boulder in rural Iowa with depictions patriotic and inspiring scenes named The Freedom Rock.  This scene is repainted yearly (since 1999) with a different scene and is done solely without compensation.  The artist is supported by family and friends.  I have not been to the actual Freedom Rock so I can not post pictures of it here without infringing on someone else’s work but I can direct you to “Bubba’s” Facebook page where you can view the current rock.  Click here to open this page in a new window.

What I can show you are the pictures that I was able to take when I happened upon the artist working on a small version of a Freedom Rock on his Freedom Rock Tour.   I had just picked up my books for World Book Night 2014 at the Britt Public Library and we were driving home when I spied out of the corner of my little eye something that made me say “Chris—pull over!”.  Which he did.  I got out of the car with camera in hand and approached “Bubba” and had a short conversation with him about what he was doing.  The Freedom Rock Tour was started by Sorenson and will continue for a few summers as his goal is to paint a small Freedom Rock version in each of the 99 counties in Iowa.  The day I picked up my books was my lucky day because he was in the process of painting the Hancock County rock.




A former serviceman (whose name I forgot to write down) thanking Sorenson for his work.

A former serviceman (whose name I forgot to write down) thanking Sorensen for his work.

I have not been back to Britt to see the completed rock but definitely have that on my to do list.  Bubba’s three goals for the tour  as stated on his website:

1) Honor America’s Veterans

2) Promote Iowa tourism

3) Provide for my family

If you are interested in either having your Iowa county represented there is a downloadable application here that will help that process along.  More details on the location of the massive Freedom Rock and locations of the other finished rocks that are included on The Freedom Rock Tour are also available on his website which can be accessed by simply clicking here.

I was so impressed by this young man and his talent and passion to honor American’s veterans and promote tourism for the state of Iowa.  Now it’s your turn—if you are a in Iowa you need to check out these artistic renderings and let me know which is your favorite.  Thank you to Ray “Bubba” Sorensen II for your gift to the state of Iowa.

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  1. I had heard of Freedom Rock; but I can’t remember where. Cool project!

    • I think has probably been publicized all over the place but I was thrilled to happen upon him while he was painting this small one in Britt. Great mission for this young man.

  2. Virginia says:

    Never heard of Freedom Rock – what a wonderful ministry! And I just told Mitchell that 29 years ago today – his daddy went over to the Orlando airport to video President Reagan and Air Force One so he could show Mitchell one day.

  3. William Aiken says:

    The Freedom Rock gives me another reason to visit Iowa!

  4. A beautiful mission, indeed.

  5. Thanks for telling us about this cool project! We thank God every day that my brother in law is home safe after two tours in Afghanistan. Thankful for his and everyone else in our armed forces’ service.

  6. middleageddiva says:

    He is a talented artist.

  7. Hadn’t heard of this before, so thanks for educating me! What a talent, and how cool that Iowa tourism can get in on it!

  8. An honorable undertaking by an honorable young man.. Thanks Bubba and Beth Ann.

  9. He’s very talented. Here in Canada we have Remembrance Day on Nov. 11. My heart and life was changed when a veteran I was caring for (as a care aid) told me one of his horrific stories from the war. We cried together and I thanked him. It changed me that day. 🙂

    • Why did I not realize you were Canadian? I love my Canadian friends!!! 🙂 I loved your story—-you definitely had a moving experience with a veteran. I can not imagine what our veterans have seen and done for us.

      • ahaha I thought that you knew but then why would you?

        It was a really powerful moment with my client. He was dying at the time and had never told the story, not even to his wife.

        I can’t imagine all that they go through either. When I think of it too much it brings me to tears for them, for their families.

  10. what a brilliant idea – and a talented and generous, thoughtful man. the rock art is just beautiful.

  11. Funny, I just learned about this yesterday when a client – photographer returning from Iowa mentioned it to me. She was so excited by some of her pictures and the artist.
    The idea rocks!

  12. What an incredible gift. So happy you happened upon him and that Chris pulled over.

  13. What a great idea! I wonder how long the painting lasts?

  14. pattisj says:

    Yes, thank you, Ray. Thanks for sharing, Beth Ann you find the best people, stories, and causes.

    • I was really glad that I happened upon him. I had heard of the Freedom Rock but did not know he was doing smaller rocks in other counties.

  15. This is such a cool project. Freedom does indeed ROCK!

  16. Jennifer says:

    God bless our veterans, Freedom isn’t free!!

  17. I have never heard of this. Thanks for posting.

  18. This blog and the following comments definitely reminded me of some of the things that I’m going to miss about the States. God bless America!

  19. Ann Pillsbury says:

    That is such a nice thing to do.


  1. Memorial Day says:

    […] loved this Memorial Day story from writer Beth Ann: Freedom Rocks — about a young painter in Iowa  using his artistic talents to honor American […]

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