Huntingdon Bestows Freedom to 501CSW

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Chase Sousa
  • 501st Combat Support Wing
U.S. Air Force service members and U.K. government officials joined together for the Freedom of Huntingdon ceremony in Huntingdon, United Kingdom, Sept. 21.

Today marks the first-ever bestowment of the Freedom of Huntingdon to the 501st Combat Support Wing.

“There can be no finer example of this bond and special relationship between the 501st and Huntingdon than today’s extension of the freedom of our town,” said Philip Peacock, town clerk. “Many of the service personnel on parade today live in our community, support our community, take part in our activities and enrich our community’s well being.”

The bestowment of the Freedom of Huntingdon is the highest honor that the town can award. Granting the freedom is an ancient tradition that goes back to the early 13th century, arising from the medieval practice of granting respected citizens freedom from serfdom.

“Today I am filled with an overwhelming sense of pride that is also tempered with a great sense of humility,” said Col. Ron Cheatham, 501 CSW vice commander. “As we look upon this formation you will see true Americans, all united to serve our never-ending pursuit of freedom.”

The event was held in the town square with local civilians and government officials in attendance.

“We thank you for the Freedom of Huntingdon, but we also thank you for being more than allies and more than partners. You have stood with us even when we were wrong, so that makes us more than an alliance. It makes us friends. thank you for this friendship and thank you for this honor,” said Cheatham.