UK Royal, Prince Harry has revealed his dismay at the damage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic to people’s lives after the annual Warrior Games which celebrates injured active duty and veteran US military service members was canceled.
The Duke of Sussex, who spent 10 years in the Army, appeared alongside the US First Lady, Jill Biden to co-host a virtual event for the Games.
Harry explained that the Warrior Games were the inspiration behind the Invictus Games, which he founded and then first held in London in 2014.
Harry was expected to attend the 2021 Warrior Games in Orlando, Florida, but it was cancelled due to coronavirus-related concerns and the Duke wasted no time in explaining how Covid-19 has ‘flipped life upside down for so many’ .
Speaking in recognition of those who would have taken part, he said: ‘I am so sorry that we’re not all together at the Warrior Games where we should be.
‘The pandemic has certainly changed or flipped life upside down for so many people.
‘I will never forget that first visit that I had to the Warrior Games, which inspired me to create the Invictus Games and the Invictus Games never would have been created had I not been inspired by every single one of you, and your companions, and the families for everything that you give to the service of this country.’
Speaking about the games where injured service personnel participate in competitive sport to aid their mental and physical recovery, Harry added;
‘It’s not about the medals. It’s not even so much about the winning, as far as most of us are concerned you guys have already won.
‘These games are so important, whether it’s the Warrior Games, whether it’s the Invictus Games, it is ultimately the reminder of service, both at home and overseas.
‘It is about caring for our physical as well as our mental fitness.
‘And that, again, is not just those who wear the uniform, but every single one of you. Because as we know, once served, always serving and that goes across the whole family network.’
Speaking at the start of the event, first lady Dr Biden said: ‘20 years ago our world broke apart and the shockwaves of 9/11 continue today, but as the President and I visited the September 11 memorials this weekend I was reminded of the humanity that shined through the inhumanity of that day.
‘There was a call to defend the values we hold dear as we waged a global war on terror and a courageous group of men and women stepped forward to say “Me, I will go”.
‘And that includes you, Harry, you live by a simple principle, serve together, recover together.’