FREEDOM, Maine (NEWS CENTER) – There is no better setting to recognize Veterans Day than in the town of Freedom.
After all, the small town was first founded in 1751 by a man who served in the Revolutionary War.
"We have our freedom because of those that have served and that have given their lives,” Sallyann Hadyniak said.
The 80-year-old Freedom resident epitomizes what it means to be a patriotic American. American flags can be found scattered about her log home nestled at the very end of a dirt road.
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"I'm free. I'm free to do what I want, go where I want, feel the way I want to feel,” she said.
Hadyniak’s husband was a Veteran of the U.S. Navy. He died 12 years ago.
"Yeah. I get melancholy when I think of him,” she said. "We moved here it will be 21 years ago in March."
The town even recently honored her with the Spirit of America award for her dedication to volunteerism and giving back.
She will be the first to tell you she has her hands in just about everything—including the Freedom Recreation and Booster Club Committee.
The committee is responsible for the annual Veterans Day ceremony held at the town’s Veterans Park. This year, Hadyniak wrote a letter to Sen. Susan Collins to invite her to the ceremony, but never expected a response let alone a ‘yes.’
"When she told me that Susan responded or her staff responded and that she was coming. I was very excited. I just was screaming all over the phone,” Hadyniak said. "We're a little town and to have a VIP like Susan coming to town. It's just exciting."
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She said she plans to greet Sen. Collins with a big hug to thank her for her service in Washington.
For her, it shows the dedication and pride in the U.S. because it is not just a day to recognize those who have served. It is a day to celebrate what it means to be free.
"I found my freedom in Freedom. That's one of my favorite lines,” Hadyniak said.
The ceremony is set for Saturday morning at 11 a.m.
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