LONDON (AP) – A 99-year-old World War II veteran has completed his quest to walk 100 laps of his garden in eastern England and raised almost 13 million pounds ($16 million) for Britainâ€™s National Health Service.
Tom Moore’s humble mission to support health care workers during the coronavirus pandemic became a national rallying point. Tens of thousands of Britons pledged donations as Moore pursued a goal of finishing the laps before his 100th birthday on April 30.
With the aid of a walking frame, he reached his target Thursday. Nine soldiers from the Yorkshire Regiment, a unit linked to Moore’s former British army regiment, lined the paved walkway in his Bedfordshire backyard, forming an honor guard for the veteran’s final laps.
â€œIâ€™ve fought so many battles and weâ€™ve always won, and weâ€™re going to win again,â€ Moore told British broadcaster ITV.
He added that health workers on the frontline â€œdeserve everything we can give them.â€
Moore started the fundraiser as a way to thank the doctors and nurses who cared for him after his broke his hip. His family initially set a target of raising 1,000 pounds. The campaign went viral after Moore appeared on national television, and millions were raised within a week.
His daughter Hannah said her father had become â€œa beacon of hope for peopleâ€ during challenging times. She described the donations as â€œbeyond words.â€
Moore trained as a civil engineer before enlisting in the army during World War II. He rose to the rank of captain and served in India and Burma.
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