Freedom Rock Painter Reacts to Cedar Falls Vandalism
The Black Hawk County Freedom Rock was vandalized with black spray paint Friday night. On this Memorial Day, the man who painted it responded beautifully.
Ray "Bubba" Sorensen II is painting a Freedom Rock in every county in Iowa, including one in Cedar Rapids, and will eventually paint one in each of the 50 states.
Friday night, just after Sorensen had finished repainting the original Freedom Rock in Menlo, Iowa, the mural he painted in Cedar Falls was vandalized. This is the tribute Sorensen painted in Black Hawk County.
Following the damage earlier in the weekend, Ray perfectly captured the way we feel with this statement:
Someone knows who did the damage. Perhaps several people do. We hope they read this.
Spray paint was used to partially cover these words on the rock:
"When The Battles Are Done
The War Isn't Over
For Our Veterans
Or Their Family
It Is Just Beginning."
Those words sit next to the likeness of Taylor Morris of Cedar Falls. Morris was charged with destroying bombs in Afghanistan. In May of 2012, he suffered severe injuries to all four limbs when he was injured in action. He lost both legs, his right hand, and left arm from the bicep down.
The sacrifices of Taylor Morris and his family and everything he's had to endure, deserve better. Whoever put graffiti on that mural, no doubt wasn't educated on its meaning. We hope someone will share this with them and they won't repeat the mistake.
Sorensen finished painting the original Freedom Rock in Menlo (west of Des Moines, just north of Interstate 80) for the 18th time in advance of the Memorial Day Weekend. He's spent the weekend there greeting people from all over the U.S. This year's rock remembers this fall's 75th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor and so much more.
It will be repainted with a new theme again next year, prior to the Memorial Day weekend. Until then, it will stand as a massive example of patriotism and thanks to our veterans. As Sorensen said above, "Do not let the actions of a few douse the appreciation that the majority of Americans feel toward you and your service."