The Duke of Sussex said the Covid-19 pandemic “turned life upside down for so many” when speaking at an event honoring those who participated in the Warrior Games.
Harry, who served 10 years in the Army, co-hosted a virtual event for the Games celebrating injured active soldiers and U.S. military service veterans.
In addition to US First Lady Jill Biden, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Ken Fisher, CEO of the Fisher House Foundation, the Duke said the Warrior Games were the inspiration for the Invictus Games, which first took place in London in 2014.
The Duke was expected to attend the 2021 Warrior Games in Orlando, Florida, but those have been canceled due to coronavirus-related concerns.
He said, “I’m so sorry that we’re not all where we should be at the Warrior Games.
“The pandemic has certainly changed or turned the lives of so many people on its head.
“I will never forget that first visit to the Warrior Games that inspired me to create the Invictus Games, and the Invictus Games would never have come about if I had not been inspired by each and every one of you and your companions and the families for everything that you put in the service of this country. “
Harry was inspired to start the global tournament after participating in the 2013 Warrior Games in Colorado and seeing injured American military personnel thrive on the challenge of participating in competitive sports that helped their recovery.
It celebrates the “resilience and dedication of wounded, sick, and injured active duty and US military service veterans.”
He said, “It’s not about the medals. It’s not even about winning that much, for most of us you’ve already won.
“These games are so important, whether it’s the Warrior Games, whether it’s the Invictus Games, it’s ultimately the memory of the service, both domestically and abroad.
“It’s about taking care of both our physical and mental fitness.
“And that in turn is not just the ones wearing the uniform, but each and every one of you. Because as we know, once served, always served and that goes through the entire family network. “
At the beginning of the event, Dr. Biden: “Twenty years ago our world fell apart and the shockwaves of September 11th continue today, but when the President and I scanned the memorials of the 11th that weekend, the inhumanity of that day shone through.
“There was a call to defend the values we hold dear when we waged a global war on terror and a courageous group of men and women came forward and said, ‘I, I will go.’
“And that includes you, Harry, you live by a simple principle, serve together, relax together.”
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