The story of Captain Tom Moore is one of the most inspiring examples of resilience in these unprecedented times. Captain Tom’s initial aim was to raise £1,000 for the NHS before his 100th birthday, by walking the length of his Bedfordshire garden 100 times for a total of 2.5km (1.6 miles). This would have been an inspiring story of kindness and resilience. However, as his heroic efforts lifted the spirits of an entire nation, and to date he has raised reached over £30 million (and counting). Captain Moore's act of solidarity towards NHS Charities Together was reported around the world, touching hearts around the globe.
On 30 April, his 100th birthday celebrations included a Hurricane and Spitfire flypast, a telegram from the Queen and a message from the Prime Minister. His heroic efforts have been recognised by the City of London Corporation, who honoured Captain Moore with the Freedom of the City on 12 May, in the very first virtual Freedom Ceremony.
The Freedom Ceremony represents a unique slice of London’s history going back to the 13th century. Today it is a ceremonial title, but in the past it had more practical uses. One of the more peculiar privileges that Captain Tom now has as a Freeman is the right to take sheep over London Bridge! This was a valuable right in the past because Freemen didn’t have to pay the toll to cross London Bridge, hence increasing their profit.
Captain Tom Moore is a shining model of community spirit, and one of many examples of resilience, courage and hope during the current pandemic.