By Ben Makori
MARSTON MORETAINE, England, February 3 (Reuters) – With flowers and lights, Britain paid tribute on Wednesday to Captain Tom Moore, 100, who touched the hearts of millions with a simple message from hope and sacrifice during COVID-19 containment.
Moore, who raised tens of millions of pounds for the National Health Service by walking in his garden, died in Bedford hospital on Tuesday after suffering from COVID-19 and pneumonia. He had been fighting cancer for 5 years.
In front of his house in Marston Moretaine, 80 km north of London, children have laid flowers. A message read: “Rest in peace Captain Tom. We love you. X.”
“You will always be our hero,” read another post. “Thank you for your warmth and your wonderful smile. Rest in peace.”
Her photo was shown on Piccadilly Circus in central London as the London Eye, Wembley Stadium and Blackpool Tower shone lights of honor.
Condolences from Queen Elizabeth II, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and even the White House flowed as footballers, school children and his family shed tears for a man millions consider a lockdown hero.
Amid the death and gloom of the COVID-19 pandemic, the spirit and inspiration of war veteran Moore touched millions: his message to the world was that the sun would shine again.
“For anyone who is struggling right now: the sun will shine on you again and the clouds will disappear,” said Moore, clad in a blazer and tie and displaying his war medals, after finished his walk in April. .
“You all have to remember that we will get there in the end, it will be fine, it might take some time,” Moore said. “At the end of the day, everything will be fine again.”
Raised in Yorkshire, northern England, Moore served in India, Burma and Sumatra during World War II. Always polite and dapper in public, Moore had a mischievous humor.
Asked about speculation he would be knighted by the Queen, he joked that he would find it funny to be known as “Sir Thomas Moore” – a reference to the Tudor statesman.
He was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in a ceremony at Windsor Castle.
“Her Majesty very much enjoyed meeting Captain Sir Tom and his family in Windsor last year,” Buckingham Palace said. “His thoughts and those of the royal family are with them.”
Health Minister Matt Hancock said the country will be remembered.
“We have to find a way to make sure we remember Captain Tom and thank him for his contribution to the NHS (health service),” Hancock said on BBC television.
“He touched the heart of the nation and we must remember him.” (Written by Guy Faulconbridge; Editing by Janet Lawrence)