Invictus. Latin for “unconquered.” Its meaning was on full display this weekend in Toronto as the 2017 Invictus were opened by His Royal Highness Prince Henry of Wales. Amidst the splendor of the ceremony came a procession of heroes –men and women from countries around the world, each having made great sacrifice in the service of his or her country, fighting in defense of freedom and in the hope for sustained peace.
This morning in Chapel, we watched Prince Harry’s opening remarks and discussed what it means to show resilience and optimism after experiencing great hardship. We talked about the fact that injuries are sometimes physical but not always. Great sacrifice can leave invisible wounds in the minds of our service men and women, and these injuries are no less important to treat and honour.
I don’t believe I can summarize Prince Harry’s speech better than the words themselves, so here are excerpts that we found inspiring this morning as we celebrated the unconquerable spirit of those wounded warriors:
“Invictus is about the dedication of the men and women who served their countries, confronted hardships, and refused to be defined by their injuries.”
“Invictus is about the families and friends who faced the shock of learning that their loved ones had been injured or fallen ill – and then rallied to support them on their journey of recovery.”
“And above all, Invictus is about the example to the world that all service men and women – injured or not – provide about the importance of service and duty.”
Prince Harry described how his experience in Afghanistan in 2008 changed how he viewed service and sacrifice, forever. In creating Invictus, he hopes to honour our service men and women, and “…to inspire people to follow their example of resilience, optimism, and service in their lives.”
We at Trafalgar Castle School commit to following their example. We will endeavour to be resilient, to be optimistic, and to commit to serving others through our school, our community groups, our families, our churches, our temples, our mosques – wherever we find others in need.