We were so saddened to learn of the death of Captain Sir Tom Moore yesterday.
This remarkable gentleman inspired the nation and reminded us of the value of being kind and courageous, and of what we can achieve when we are selfless, brave and giving in times of crisis. He was absolutely what our country needed in one of our darkest times in history, and more than a breath of fresh air. His uncomplaining, dependable and total commitment to the cause of raising money for the NHS, out of gratitude for all they had done for him, was awe-inspiring. His motivation was, quite simply, gratitude.
He showed us how simple, courageous acts can make such a huge, positive difference in times of trouble. He was human, yet a true legend; our lockdown hero.
For those who've lost parents, and were feeling the loss in these scary times, he stepped in and filled that void with his gentle encouragement and heartfelt belief that tomorrow will be a good day - the gentle reassurance that all will be well and that we are not alone. He gave us comfort, and hope. His sense of duty to his country and his love for his family are true examples to our nation, as was his resilience and indomitable spirit. When we struggled to keep things together, getting to grips with a new way of living safely during a pandemic, Captain Tom kept steadily walking, a constant reminder of an old soldier’s resilience, perseverance and dogged determination.
To those of us struggling to hold on during a pandemic, which has threatened our livelihoods and our businesses, he was a constant presence on our television screens and in our newspapers, reminding us to keep going, to persevere, to never give up and to keep one foot moving in front of the other. No matter how slow we might think our progress is we can still keep moving, albeit at a slower pace, and with fewer opportunities, but keep going we must.
His was a life of devotion and service to his family and his country. He reminded us of the old-fashioned values of dignity, kindness, humanity, modesty, humour and gratitude. He showed us, young and old alike, that it’s never too late to make a difference.
He didn't just leave the NHS richer, but each of us too, as individuals and as a nation.
He both united and inspired the nation just when it needed to be inspired and united. To say he was inspirational is both an understatement and a totally inadequate description of this remarkable old soldier.
"Old soldiers never die, they simply fade away".
We think this quote by George Bernard Shaw epitomises Captain Tom’s legacy:
“I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community, and as long as I live it is my privilege to do for it whatever I can.
I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no "brief candle" for me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.”
We bid you the fondest of farewells, Captain Sir Tom. You came into our lives when we needed you the most, and now you can complete your journey with gentleness and the same joy in your heart that you have given to our nation.
Yours truly was a life well lived.
“To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded"
Ralph Waldo Emerson