A few weeks ago, I mentioned my summer bucket list item for 2016. I made it a personal goal to visit all 45 of the current existing Freedom Rocks by Labor Day weekend. It’s a daunting goal, and whether I complete it or not, I’ll get to all of them eventually.
I decided to make the first Rock I visit be the original Freedom Rock, which is located in Adair county. You can find it about 1.5-2 miles south of Interstate 80, straight south of Exit 86. This is the one rock that is repainted each year by artist Ray “Bubba” Sorensen. He has currently completed rocks in at least 46 counties, and will be doing a few new ones each year. Currently, almost every Iowa county has submitted an application for their own Freedom Rock.
The rock stands about 12 feet tall, and is simply breathtaking. The area is quiet, and people are silent as they move around the rock and observe the artwork.
I can’t even begin to explain how impressed I am with the attention to detail and pure beauty of each and every depiction on the rock.
These flags — both the American Flag and the POW-MIA flag, fly over the northeast side of the rock.
Previous visitors to the Freedom Rock have left momentos behind. Patches, insignias, bracelets, coins, pins and so much more. The feeling you get when you see all of these in person is simply amazing.
Interesting fact. While this original Freedom Rock is repainted each year for Memorial Day, the one thing that remains constant is the green helicopter in the photo above. The paint used in the helicopter includes something very special and unique. Mixed in with the paint is the ashes of several veterans, so they can permanently be a part of this beautiful display of honor and patriotism.
There is a guest book you can sign and it’s filled with pages and pages of signatures from people all over the world. Some leave just their names, but many leave their location and even some comments.
Have you visited any of the Freedom Rocks? Does your county have one? I’d love to hear about it!
Follow along as I complete my Summer Bucket List of visiting all of the completed Freedom Rocks by searching for #FreedomRocks2016 on Twitter and Instagram.