It took him a century, but Arnold Kann finally got to his first hockey game.
The World War II veteran celebrated his 100th birthday with the Florida Panthers, who honored him at center ice and during the first period of their game against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday.
Kann was celebrated as one of Florida's "Heroes Among Us," which honors a current or former service member at each home game. The players on each team tapped their stick in acknowledgment of Kann's service, and the Panthers gave him a jersey with his name and the No. 100 on the back.
Kann was drafted into the U.S. Army shortly after his 22nd birthday. He helped liberate more than 30,000 captives from Dachau, a concentration camp in Germany in 1945.
"I was glad I was a part of it," Kann told the Panthers website of his role in the war. "At the time I didn't think of it, but now I'm glad I was a part of it... I felt that I did my duty for my country, and I'm proud of that."
"We appreciate everything he's done for this country," Panthers forward Noel Acciari said. "We love supporting our troops and thanking them for everything they've done for us."