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Decatur County, Iowa
Courthouse Lawn, Leon, Iowa

Unveiling Ceremony
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Courthouse Lawn, Leon, Iowa

The artist, Ray "Bubba" Sorensen II, was inspired by the motion picture film Saving Private Ryan to give Veterans a unique recognition. He paints a Freedom Rock on his own time. He is not commissioned to paint the rock but through generous support of family and friends and donations is able to keep this project going. His goal is to place a Freedom Rock in each of Iowa's 99 counties.

On his Facebook page, Ray made the following comments about Decatur County's Freedom Rock:

"The Freedom Rock in Leon, IA (Decatur County) is finished. Even though it was rainy, I was covered and comfortable under a tent and able to complete it on schedule.

"The front side of the rock we wanted to say thank you to all Veterans across all eras, so I created a group of soldiers running with a female soldier carrying our flag and a WWII soldier and Revolutionary soldier with their rifles. ...In the background are an aircraft carrier, sub, helicopter and jet. I just wanted a dramatic scene of a bunch of military from different aspects as if they are running toward danger to defend our country.

"With the south side we wanted to say thank you to a Veteran with roots in Decatur County, as I like to highlight specific stories in the hopes it will inspire more Veterans to tell their stories. The Veteran chosen is M/Sgt. D. Darrell Johnston who fought in the Korean War. Part of his citation reads: '...Sergeant Johnston unhesitatingly exposed himself to the deadly enemy fire, charging boldly toward the critical enemy position and firing his weapon with extreme accuracy. He then unleashed a barrage of grenades and returned to friendly elements to replenish his depleted supply of ammunition. He advanced on the enemy bunker once again and destroyed it, thus enabling his comrades to continue the attack and ultimately secure the objective.'

"The north facing side was meant to honor those we've lost serving our country. I painted an eagle landing on the helmet of a soldiers cross with a ribbon in its mouth that reads 'All gave some, some gave all.' I want them to know they are never forgotten, which leads me to the final piece on the back that is a large POW/MIA piece to be a subtle reminder.

"Hope you all like this unique piece of The Freedom Rock Tour."

~ We do like it very much, Ray! Thank you !

Although many organizations were involved in this endeaver, Angie Jensen kept Decatur County's Freedom Rock project on track.

  • Read More About It: The Freedom Rock

    Photographs courtesy of Leon Chamber of Commerce & Angie Jensen
    Webpage created by Sharon R. Becker for IAGenWeb/DecaturCo., April of 2015