What is the Freedom of the Borough?

RAF MILDENHALL, England --
The Freedom of the Borough is an honorary freedom given to those of distinction, or who have provided eminent services to the Borough, or have served the community in a very distinguished way, though there are no defined criteria. 

It's the highest tribute that a borough can bestow, but is honorary only and confers no legal rights and places no obligation on the holder, though Honorary Freemen are invariably invited to take part in important ceremonial occasions in the borough. 

For units of the armed services, it confers the historic right to "Exercise the Freedom" to march through the borough with colors flying, drums beating and bayonets fixed. 

It symbolizes the Freedom-holder is a trusted friend and ally, whose armed and martial presence in the borough is welcome.