The British World War II soldier, veteran of campaigns in India and Indonesia, who captured hearts around the world as he raised nearly US$45 million for health workers by walking around his garden, has died at 100 with Covid-19, his family announced on Tuesday.
Captain Tom Moore became an international symbol of hope when he pledged to walk 100 laps around his garden before his 100th birthday to raise money for his “heroes” at Britain’s National Health Service who had helped him survive cancer treatment.
For three weeks in April, his family shared videos of him pushing his walking frame around the garden each day. His positive attitude during the beginning of the pandemic was an inspiration to many around the world who followed him online.
“Please always remember, tomorrow will be a good day,” Moore said during his walk, which became his trademark phrase.
He initially set out to raise about US$1,250 for the NHS and reached that goal within 24 hours, and a few days later had raised more than US$1.25 million.
The veteran soldier raised more than US$40 million in donations from around the world. For his efforts he was knighted by the Queen, who sent a private message of condolence to his family on his death.
“The last year of our father’s life was nothing short of remarkable. He was rejuvenated and experienced things he’d only ever dreamed of,” Moore’s family said in a statement. “While he’d been in so many hearts for just a short time, he was an incredible father and grandfather, and he will stay alive in our hearts forever.’’
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said “Captain Sir Tom Moore was a hero in the truest sense of the word. He became not just a national inspiration but a beacon of hope for the world.
US President Joe Biden tweeted that Moore “inspired millions through his life and his actions”.