Faribault County to unveil Freedom Rock to honor veterans

Winnebago will be home to the fifth Freedom Rock in the state.
Winnebago will be home to the fifth Freedom Rock in the state.
Published: Oct. 7, 2022 at 6:57 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 7, 2022 at 7:14 PM CDT
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WINNEBAGO, Minn. (KEYC) - On Saturday, Oct. 15, the city of Winnebago will unveil its Freedom Rock, a painted rock honoring Faribault County veterans who served in the U.S. military during World War II and the Vietnam War.

“People in Minnesota have now kind of caught onto it,” Winnebago City Council Member Jean Anderson said. “People would say, ‘what do you just want a painted rock for?’ Until they see it, and now they get it.”

Winnebago will be home to the fifth Freedom Rock in the state.

Resident Colette Meidinger was the frontwoman for the rock’s creation. She traveled throughout Minnesota and Iowa to see and gain inspiration from different Freedom Rocks, then started collecting Faribault County military history for Winnebago’s own mural.

On Saturday, Oct. 15, the city of Winnebago will unveil its Freedom Rock, a painted rock...
On Saturday, Oct. 15, the city of Winnebago will unveil its Freedom Rock, a painted rock honoring Faribault County veterans who served in the U.S. military during World War II and the Vietnam War.(KEYC News Now)

“For instance, Winnebago had the highest per capita for deaths [in the state] in the Vietnam War, and so, they’re on the rock,” Anderson said.

On Sept. 15, artist Ray Sorensen visited Winnebago to paint the Freedom Rock as a part of his unique 50-state mural tour across the nation.

The painting took a week to complete, and the City never spent a dime on the rock’s development, with $10,000 being raised from individual and private donations.

“See that bright, gorgeous red on there? That red paint is $500 a gallon because it’s made especially not to fade in the sun,” Anderson said.

The Freedom Rock sits by Winnebago’s Veterans Memorial Center.

Everyone is welcome to learn about the history of the people on the Freedom Rock and come to the unveiling party at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 15.

“I think it’s a great place to come and give respect,” Anderson said.