HORSEHEADS, N.Y. (WENY) -- On Friday morning, Center Street Elementary honored our veterans with a handshake, a smile, and a heartfelt thank you.  

"Each year we come together and we set this date aside so that we can honor and thank veterans and those who are actively serving around our country, around the world," said Center Street Elementary Principal, Patricia Sotero.

Kids lined the hallways wearing red, white, and blue and thanked each veteran as they went by. Afterward a ceremony was held were students performed songs and a veteran received a quilt of honor for his service in the Vietnam War. But for the kids, this whole event is something they look forward to. 

"Now students are the ones who say, 'Hey, can we do some cards', 'Hey, could we sing for them', 'Hey, could we dress up for them,'" said Sotero. "All this excitement was generated, not just the staff, but the students along came to help build this."

For the veterans, this ceremony means a whole lot.

"When you see the public respond in such a way, on Veterans Day, it helps," said Matthew Clark with the U.S. Navy. "It helps everything. It makes me happy to be doing what I'm doing."

"So many of the young ones, they look at you like, 'I'm not sure what's going on here, but I'm glad you're here,'" said U.S. Navy Chaplain, Fr. Lewis Brown. "That's so much fun. It's delightful to the heart to see that. Then the older ones, obviously, have a little bit more comprehension of what's going on and so their thank yous are heartfelt and we appreciate that."

Next year's event will be held on Friday, November 6th. Any and all veterans in the Southern and Northern Tier are invited to attend. Just call the elementary's school office at (607) 795- 2580 to sign up.