Credit: The Times
For those whose birthdays fell between the months of March and May this year, they weren’t able to have much of a celebration. The coronavirus forced people across the world to hunker down at home and only leave for necessities. This caused millions of birthdays to be celebrated via phone or video calls– a sad substitute for many.
One Englishman, however, decided to make something good out of his birthday. Veteran Captain Tom Moore decided, in order to raise some money for the brave men and women fighting the virus front and center, that he would walk 100 laps around his garden for his 100 birthday in April. The goal was to raise ten dollars per lap, which would raise $1,000 for NHS charities. On these healthcare workers, Moore says:
“You are all entering into something where you are putting yourself in danger and you’re doing that for the good of the people here. You are doing a marvellous, marvellous job.”
In 24 hours, Moore’s goal of $1,000 was raised to $100,000. Just one day later, that goal was surpassed, and a new goal of $250,000 was set. When the news met the ears of BBC Radio hosts, however, this fundraising goal exploded. Since opening the fundraiser on April 10, Captain Tom Moore has raised $32 million to be donated in honor of the brave men and women who fight to keep the general public healthy and safe every day.
With so much money raised, Captain Moore has vowed to “keep on going,” and that promise has caught the attention of people in high places– including Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who calls Moore “a beacon of light through the fog of the coronavirus.” But on May 20, Captain Tom Moore received an honor he never would have expected: knighthood from the queen of England.
“I am certainly delighted and overawed by the fact this has happened to me,” Captain Moore says. “I thought this can’t be true, I’ve always said this won’t happen and it appears it actually has. I certainly never anticipated that this letter would arrive for me.”
To the people affected by the dangerous virus, Captain Moore provides a symbol of hope. Many repeat the mantra that “we’re all in this together,” and while that may be true in a sense, Captain Moore put that into action. By simply going on a walk for his 100 birthday, Captain Moore provided more support than anyone (including himself) could have ever imagined