Invictus to me, as a Veteran of the Canadian Military, who joined the Army only a few months after Graduating High School in 1986, and did one UN Peacekeeping Tour of Duty overseas to Iran in 1988, continuing to serve as a Radio Operator (Signals) until August 1995; it says that every individual, who served our nations are like a phoenix rising out of the ashes of the chaos of our past. Where we are as the MacLeod of Lewis Clan family motto says, “Shine Not Burn”; while we see that we are not alone. For, too long so many of us have been adrift in our lives, walking outside of our bodies, being like a wolf without claws in a crowd, just as life continues. With the tremendous help coming from Invictus Games, we as Veterans are able to break the shell, which has cocooned us, imprisoned many of us for too long.
During the Opening Ceremonies for Invictus Games here in Toronto, the song sung by Sarah Mclachlan, “I Will Remember You”, was so fitting for the meaning of Invictus.
As it shone a beacon of light, cutting thru the darkness, just like so many Veterans have been moored in their lives. Shining out like a lighthouse, guiding them back to calmer waters. Holding their hands, and telling so many of us that the nightmares in our minds and sleep, no longer have to be the boogeyman that hides under the bed, waiting for us to shut our eyes. Just like the Phoenix, we can “Hold Fast” with a united front of many others, shouting out to the darkness that we will not go gently into the night. For, we as Veterans remember the ones that we have lost over the years, and it is in their memories that we forge forward together, with our numbers growing every day. Yes, we can move mountains and accomplish things, which even a short time ago, many of us thought was impossible.
It is possible. To be unconquered.
Out of the shadows, Invictus Games says to me that we as Veterans will not crumble or break. As we have been forged out of the fiery pits, hidden within the darkness, and like the Phoenix, it is our time to “Shine Not Burn.”
Long after the Invictus Games here in Toronto are gone, the memories of the incredible strides that we as Veterans of all nations have accomplished, it will propel all of us forth like a diving board into our future, knowing that we are not alone, and with our numbers, we will not be defeated. Go forth with the Invictus spirit of many, as we continue with our pathway of our lives. Be the master of faith and the captain of our souls. Never give up. Never give in, never, never, never because the spirit of Invictus Games Toronto 2017 has inspired me and all of us who have been fortunate to see and feel this spirit amongst the competitors, families, supporters, and community.
by Reginald Angus Argue
Retired Cpl Canadian Military Veteran
Host of The Reginald Show