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Honoring the memory of a fallen hero
Freeman dedicates son's memorial, announces new college scholarship
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Lisa Freeman dedicates the Capt. Matthew Freeman memorial as Bryan County Commission Chairman Jimmy Burnsed and the Richmond Hill High School ROTC color guard look on. - photo by Caitlyn Boza

Lisa Freeman unveiled a memorial to her son, fallen Marine Capt. Matthew Freeman, Monday at a ceremony at the Bryan County Administrative Complex, located on the aptly named. Capt. Matthew Freeman Drive.
Newspaper articles, certificates and photos now line the wall behind the building’s south staircase and chronicle the life and accomplishments of the young Marine, a Richmond Hill High School graduate who was killed in action three years ago in Afghanistan.
“This means so much to me. It points out how this town has been behind me through everything, and it shows how much Matthew’s life was appreciated,” said Freeman, who founded the Matthew Freeman Project: Pens and Paper for Peace, which has donated 14,000 pounds of school supplies to children in war-torn countries.
Freeman said she made the decision to create the memorial display after she was approached by a county employee who worked in the building.
“Someone from the Bryan County Health Department came up to me one day and asked, ‘Do you have anything we can put up about Matt? We get asked all the time about him by people who are new to the area and wonder who he is because of the road’s name,’” she said. “I thought it was a nice idea.”
So with the help of Bryan County Commission Chairman Jimmy Burnsed, County Administrator Phil Jones and local artist Jim Leahy, memorabilia from the Freeman family’s personal collection was selected and arranged on the rear wall.  
“I love that some of these photos really show Matt’s fun side. Here he is as a cheerleader for the local powder-puff game,” said Freeman, pointing to a photo of a high-school-aged Matthew executing a kick in a bright yellow skirt. “He didn’t care what people thought because he had so much fun doing it.”

Read more in the Sept. 12 edition of the News.

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