KABUL (Aug. 9, 2017) — Gen. John W. Nicholson, Resolute Support commander, delivers remarks at the Invictus Spirit Flame lighting ceremony here yesterday at the Presidential Palace.
GEN. NICHOLSON: Your Excellencies, Mr. President, respected ministers, secretaries, ambassadors … fellow general officers, sergeants major, and including the Invictus organization led by Michael Burns, and these tremendous Invictus competitors – I am so proud and humbled to be joining you today. Thank you.
A few weeks ago, Resolute Support hosted the Invictus Games tryouts. The competitors in front of you won their places at the Games in Toronto. In September, these competitors will be representing the very best of Afghanistan at the global level.
Behind every competitor here is a network, from the president to the coach; to the people who help them train, to the people who will be cheering for them as they enter the stadium.
Our presence here now – and soon theirs in Toronto – honors those in the Afghan security forces who are fighting, every day. We also honor those wounded and fallen warriors from all over the globe, who have fought alongside our Afghan comrades. Among them, Councillor Jody Mitic, ambassador of the Invictus Games, himself a wounded Canadian warrior, and one who epitomizes the warrior spirit of Invictus.
Hundreds of thousands of your comrades woke up this morning to provide security for the people of Afghanistan, to your government, and to all of us in the international community. Those forces are here in spirit today, and will be supporting you in Toronto. Please know that we will all be cheering for both you and Afghanistan.
The fight against terror is the most important in the world. The costs of failure are unimaginable. We must win, not only for the future of this country, but for humanity’s sake.
Invictus is the Latin word for "unconquered.” I cannot think of a better way to describe the brave Afghans who fight every day for their country. They represent a better future. They – and you gathered here today – are showing the world that you are undefeated, and that Afghanistan is undefeated.
We all owe a tremendous debt to our veterans – especially to your martyrs, the disabled, and injured. We pray for them and their families.
Undefeated – that is the perfect word to describe the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces. We fight alongside you as you fight for a better future for you, your comrades, and your countrymen.
You will show that with God’s will – Inshallah – Afghans are Invictus. Unconquered.