British War veteran Colonel Tom Moore, who became a national celebrity this week when he raised about $50 million for the National Health Service, was awarded a knighthood Wednesday by Queen Elizabeth.
The 100-year-old Moore, who was a captain in the British Army in World War II, wanted to thank the health service for treatment he received for recent illnesses. So, he launched a fundraising campaign earlier this year, seeking pledges for each lap he took in his small yard, using a walker. His goal was 100 laps by his 100th birthday last month.
Moore's initial goal was to raise about $1,200 for NHS charities. But his efforts went viral through social media and he ended up raising tens of millions.
On his birthday, he received well wishes from thousands of people across Britain. His accolades included an honorary promotion to the rank of colonel by the British Army.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson was among those wishing him well last month and suggested a knighthood for Moore's efforts. It was officially approved by the queen Wednesday.
Colonel Moore said he has been overwhelmed by the gratitude and love from the British public and beyond and was amazed to see how many people decided to raise money to help those fighting COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
Moore said he never "in the world" anticipated he would be knighted. He said he is the same person inside but acknowledged "Sir Thomas" sounds nice.