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Could a Freedom Rock come to Clarke County?

Published: Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013 2:44 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2013 2:57 p.m. CDT
OST photo by SARAH BROWN The Ringgold County Freedom Rock is the second rock to be completed as part of Ray "Bubba" Sorensen's Freedom Rock Tour. Ringgold County's Freedom Rock is located at the corner of Broadway and West Third streets in Diagonal.

Have you seen the Freedom Rock in Adair County? Someday, you might be able to see a similar one in Clarke County.

“I think it’s an excellent idea, and to be able to say thank you to our Clarke County veterans, I think, is a worthy goal,” said Scott McLin of Osceola.

McLin spoke during Osceola City Council meeting Sept. 17 to inform the council he was spearheading an effort to get a Freedom Rock in Clarke County.

The original

The Freedom Rock is a large boulder, approximately 60 tons, located north of Greenfield in rural Adair County. The Freedom Rock is repainted every year for Memorial Day with a different “Thank-you” theme to honor the nation’s veterans. 

Ray “Bubba” Sorensen II of Greenfield was inspired by the movie “Saving Private Ryan,” and began painting the rock in 1999. He has painted a different mural on the rock every year since.

Recently, Sorensen decided he wanted to paint Freedom Rocks in all of Iowa’s 99 counties.

“That’s his goal, and he’s off to a great start,” McLin said. “But, I think there’s a misconception that, you know, he set this goal and, somehow, magically, the Freedom Rocks are just going to show up in the perspective counties, and that’s not the case.”

It costs

The cost to have a Freedom Rock in Clarke County would cost, at least, $5,000.

“I kind of waited for about six months just to see if anybody would say anything and was going to do anything, and I never heard anything ... at that point, I just decided to pick up and run with it,” McLin said.

McLin said he’s also talked to officials with Clarke County Supervisors and Clarke County Veterans Affairs Commission.

McLin started a Facebook page to help get information out about the project. He said his first goal was to raise $1,000, which will reserve a spot for Clarke County on Sorensen’s list of Freedom Rocks to paint.

A few years

Once Clarke County is on the list, a date for the project will be decided, McLin said. As of now, the date may be August 2016 or later.

“He’s limited to weather, and so, only during the nice parts of the year can he go out and do the rocks,” McLin said. “So, when you figure, at that point, it’s about two weeks to do a rock. He’s only getting six, maybe seven, done during the season.”

The goal, right now, is to get Clarke County on Sorensen’s list, and then focus on raising the additional $4,000 needed for the project, McLin said.

“I’d like to get a lot of different groups from the community involved and really make this a community effort,” McLin said.

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