A 99-year-old British war veteran who has raised more than 17.9 million pounds ($22.3 million) for the health service by walking laps of his garden was praised by Queen Elizabeth's grandson as an "absolute legend."
Tom Moore, a retired army captain who served in India, Burma and Sumatra during World War II, became a symbol of British endurance in the face of adversity after completing 100 laps of his garden in a fundraising effort for the health service.
Moore, who has used a walking frame with wheels since breaking his hip, had aimed to raise 1,000 pounds by completing his challenge before his 100th birthday on April 30.
But his endeavor – and enduring optimism – struck a chord with people across the United Kingdom and the wider world, bringing a ray of hope amid the doom of the coronavirus outbreak that has killed more than 143,000 people worldwide.
Prince William, the queen's grandson, said Moore was an "absolute legend."
"What I love also is he's a 99-year war vet, he's been around a long time, knows everything and it's wonderful that everyone has been inspired by his story and his determination," William said in an interview broadcast on Friday.
Moore said that the current doom would clear and that one day "the sun will shine on you again and the clouds will go away."
Such is his renown, that some have called for Moore to be knighted by Queen Elizabeth – a ritual recognition that dates back thousands of years through England's medieval past.
"It makes me laugh," Moore said on Thursday when asked about being recognized formally, quipping a reference to the Tudor statesman Sir Thomas More.
"Sir Thomas Moore sounds quite good," he chuckled.
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