Utica, NY (WIBX) - It was an emotional ceremony with few onlookers as the rain began to fall in Oneida Square. But that did not diminish the meaning behind the first wreath-laying for the day in Utica.

After putting his own flag on the Soldiers and Sailors Monument, Veteran Austin Centolella played his heart out for his friends, both those fallen and those continuing to stand in service.

Following the salute to veterans Centolella made a surprising gesture, turning over his drumsticks to Mayor Robert Palmieri and his drum to Utica Police Chief Mark Williams. He said it was his salute not only to veterans but also to both men and their service.