As Lt. Colonel Scott Langlands exited the Community School auditorium with his children, he said the experience of sharing Veterans Day with friends and family meant more than anyone can imagine.
“I deployed before I had children, so I had to spend time away from them,” he said. “So, it’s great to be back to share the experience I had when I was a soldier with my children so they can understand the sacrifices that I had to make.”
Langlands was one of many from North Attleborough and Plainville attending the Veterans Day Ceremony at the morning of Friday, Nov. 11. The celebration began with the presentation of colors by five veterans—representing the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard respectively.
Stephen Travers, the town’s Veterans Agent, was the master of ceremonies. Travers served in the U.S. Army for more than 30 years and said Veterans Day is a time to reflect not only on those who have served, but those who want to serve.
“We have plenty of support in this room,” Travers said to the crowd. “Our veterans are strong. This is a day of celebration.”
The ceremony continued with speeches from local politicians, including Rep. Adam Scanlon (D-North Attleborough) and Town Councilor Mark Gould Jr.
Scanlon’s speech praised the accomplishments of those in the Armed Forces, and how they have and are continuing to shape the history of the United States and democracy.
“From liberating slaves, to fighting fascism to defeating terrorism, veterans’ records are unparalleled throughout our nation’s history,” Scanlon said. “To those who signed up for a job that requires the risk of life or limb, a job that requires loyalty, duty, honor, and respect, today we honor you.”
Gould, who also served in the military, reflected on his experience during basic training and as a nuclear biological chemical operations specialist. He said despite the different states, cities, and towns soldiers come from, they all share the desire to fight for freedom in America and throughout the world.
“When I was stationed in Fort Stewart, I saw people who got on a plane, gave up everything they ever knew, left with nothing but their service weapon and camouflage, put themselves in the line of fire, to sacrifice not for fame and fortune, no, but for honor and freedom,” he said. “These freedoms are what make America great.”
Following the two speeches, a medley of the five branches’ theme songs was performed by the North Attleborough High School Band. When each song was performed, an audience member who served in the designated branch stood up and received cheers.
The special guest speaker, Major John Cohen, thanked elected officials for helping veterans and their families. He also thanked veterans in the audience for their sacrifice and passion in keeping the country away from ham.
“Nobody here will remember my words, but we will never forget your sacrifices,” Cohen said to applause. “I realize I have my work cut out for me.”