(CNN) - Soon to be Massachusetts Sen. Paul Kirk arrived on Capitol Hill Friday to cheers from staffers and friends of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy.
As he entered Kennedy's office, an emotional Kirk told CNN it was "exciting and sobering" to take the place of his longtime friend in the Senate.
Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick appointed Kirk to the post Thursday. He will serve in the Senate until a special election is held in January to fill the seat.
Kirk is will be sworn in later Friday.