Letter to the Editor: Freedom Rock

To the Editor:

I would like to share a little information about the Freedom Rock. It all started when Ray “Bubba” Sorensen painted a 12-foot tall, 60-ton boulder near Menlo in Iowa honoring the military men and women. People liked what he was doing and so the Iowa Freedom Rock Tour was created. Each county in Iowa was to have a big rock on which Mr. Sorensen would paint something military honoring our veterans. So far, he has painted about 87 Freedom Rocks in Iowa. To view the Freedom Rocks, go to Freedom Rock Iowa on your computer. Mr. Sorensen has three goals with The Freedom Rock Tour, and those are to honor America’s Veterans, promote Iowa tourism and provide for his family.

The Freedom Rock for Allamakee County got its start when resident Ardie Kuhse submitted an application to Mr. Sorensen for Allamakee County to paint a Freedom Rock. She paid him the down payment and a contract was signed. The Waukon City Council approved Ardie’s request to place the Freedom Rock in the Waukon City Park. Do citizens know where in the City Park the rock will be placed? Plans are that a small Kiwanis shelter in the park will be moved in order to accommodate placement of the Freedom Rock. Because Ardie made the application to Sorensen, made the down payment and signed the contract, she could have made the decision to place the rock in any community in Allamakee County. She chose Waukon City Park because Waukon is the County Seat. She also asked Waukon Park and Recreation Wellness Director Jeremy Strub to be her co-chair in the project.
Recently, a suitable rock was found in Mason City quarry and will be given to us at no cost. Also, Caledonia Haulers has agreed to haul it for us at no cost.

I updated the news of the Freedom Rock to the veterans at all the American Legion and VFW meetings I’ve attended and tried to recruit their help. Recently, the Vet’s Club building in Waukon was given to the County and the plans are for the Allamakee County Historical Society to make the building into a veterans museum dedicated to the veterans of Allamakee County. I have talked with the members of the American Legion and VFW and they would like to have the Freedom Rock placed on the cement where the tank used to be in front of the Vet’s Club instead of the City Park. This dedication would fit in really well with the veterans museum. I have also talked with the president of the Historical Society and they would also like to see the Freedom Rock placed on the cement in front of the museum.

I want to thank Ardie for all she’s done to bring the Freedom Rock to Allamakee County. This is a great opportunity for local tourism and dedication to our military service people. Since work on this project began, plans for the former Vet’s Club are now to convert that building to a veterans museum. We need input from county citizens about the placement of the Freedom Rock. Please contact any of the following to provide input: Harvey Estebo - 563-568-9999, Don Peters - 563-568-7865, or Marcia Rush - 563-880-3014.

Harvey Estebo


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