ALDEN, N.Y. -- A member of the Greatest Generation was honored at Alden High School ahead of Veteran's Day Friday.

The 89-year-old, who was never able to graduate, thought he was at Alden High School Thursday for a Veteran's Day Ceremony. But he was surprised with an honorary diploma.

Lionel "Pete" Reader served in the army during World War II. He was hurt while storming the beaches at Normandy. That's why Thursday's surprise was very emotional for him.

"It means so much to know, not many schools do this." he said. "And it's the students, the staff and the people that came today. And it means an awful lot."

2 On Your Side congratulates Pete and thanks him and all the men and women who have served in the U.S. armed forces.