Corning park, rock pay tribute to Adams County veterans

One side of the Freedom Rock in Corning, Iowa, shows an eagle with a banner stating, “Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain.”

What started as a project to complete a Freedom Rock in a park in Corning, Iowa, has turned into a new, special park that pays tribute to Adams County veterans.

The Adams Community Economic Development Corp. put together a committee late last year. The city gave the panel permission to develop the new park on a city-owned lot on Sixth Street, the main thoroughfare into downtown Corning.

The group worked with fifth- and sixth-graders, who came up with 15 possible park names before Memorial Rock Park was selected.

Group members — including Economic Development Corp. Executive Director Beth Waddle, City of Corning Park and Recreation Board Chairman Chris Heimke, City Councilman Bert Peckham, American Legion representative Henry Heaton and Main Street Corning Design Committee member Monica Allen — also asked for community input on topics to be painted on the rock. They had several responses.

Bubba Sorensen, Freedom Rock Tour painter, discussed ideas with the committee before sketching his ideas. The committee received the images the next day, made a few comments, and Sorensen began painting.

A week later, the rock was completed, but not the project.

Funds are still being sought to landscape the park. Donations have come for benches, picnic tables, concrete and other items.

One side of the rock depicts hands giving a folded flag to family members of fallen heroes. Images of three men, the first from Adams County to be killed in World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam, surround the flag.

Another side symbolizes all the branches of the military. A third shows an eagle with a banner stating, “Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain.”

“We hope to enjoy this tribute to our veterans for many years to come,” Waddle said.

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