Freedom Rock Tour Coming To Q.C. Starting In LeClaire - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Freedom Rock Tour Coming To Q.C. Starting In LeClaire

Updated: Oct 9, 2013 10:53 PM
     A very unique way to pay tribute to our nation's veterans is spreading across the state of Iowa. It has to do with a lot of patriotism, paint, and some big rocks.

     You may have heard of the Freedom Rock, a massive boulder in Southwest Iowa that was originally painted 15 years ago to honor U.S. service members. A new mural is painted every year and now the artist wants a smaller version of one of these in each county. LeClaire was chosen to get the rock for Scott County. It will be the first town in our area where you'll be able to see one first hand.

     Artist Ray "Bubba" Sorensen II uses images like a majestic eagle, a soldier in the sunset, and a flag-draped casket coming off a train to transform stone into stories. The rocks remind those who see them of the sacrifices made for our freedom.

     'There's something about touching it, feeling it and being close to it. Everyone has their own story about their life and their patriotic support to the country," said Tonia Kennedy, leader of the LeClaire Freedom Rock Committee.

     Kennedy heard from a family member about the Freedom Rock Tour and the mission to put one in each of Iowa's 99 counties. A veteran herself, and coming from a family with history in the military, she made it her mission to bring it to her community.

     "I thought, what a great idea, very patriotic. LeClaire would be a perfect place we could put it down on the levee," she added. 

     That's exactly where it will go near an existing tribute to local soldiers. The artist's plan for each location is to draw inspiration from the area itself and make each one unique.  "Kind of build some pride in that Freedom Rock and tell a story about that county's veterans," said Sorensen.

     He says seeing it all brought to life in color is his own way to preserve pieces of history and hopes they can be attractions that tie together communities throughout the state. "The veterans really appreciate it and are glad it's not being forgotten," added Sorensen.

     With so many paintings to do it will be a few years before the Freedom Rock comes to LeClaire. That will give the Freedom Rock Committee time to raise their goal of $10,000 to $15,000 toward landscaping and lighting at the future site of the Freedom Rock. CLICK HERE for information on LeClaire's future Freedom Rock.

     There are 13 counties that have their completed stones and nearly 50 others have the artist booked. To learn more about the Freedom Rock Tour and what a community needs to do to get a Freedom Rock, CLICK HERE.


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