SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – On Thursday, the New York Racing Association paid tribute to the nation’s service members and veterans during Military Appreciation Day at Saratoga Race Course. For more than a decade, it’s been an annual tradition at the track.

The day featured free grandstand admission for all United States military service members and veterans with valid military ID or proof of military service.

“It’s been really humbling, it’s really nice to walk around and see all the appreciation over here, the culture is very cool over here as well, something I was new to,” said Airmen First Class Air National Guard Katelyn Erthal.

Before first post, NYRA paid tribute to its own service member and veteran employees with a special ceremony in the winner’s circle. The local acapella group Racing City Chorus performed the National Anthem.

“The New York Racing Association is honored to recognize the service and dedication of the men and women of the United States military,” said NYRA President and CEO Dave O’Rourke. “And this year, we are especially honored to pay tribute to members of the New York State Military Forces for their service and commitment to keeping our communities safe during the pandemic.”

New this year – NYRA honored service members from the New York Army National Guard and New York Air National Guard for their work during the Covid-19 pandemic during a special winner’s circle ceremony.