The two sculptures weighing almost 700 kilograms were made in a workshop for people with disabilities. The installation was done by a pioneer unit from Ingolstadt. The sculptures point to the “Summer of Respect”.
Düsseldorf is all about the approaching INVICTUS GAMES DÜSSELDORF 2023. After all, two floating sculptures now draw the attention of passers-by to the world-famous Kö shopping mile. In a joint effort by the Invictus Games 2023 project team, the pioneers of the German Armed Forces and the Gemeinnützige Werkstätten Neuss, the sculptures were anchored in the Kö-Graben. They will remain there until October, after which one sculpture will go to the Bundeswehr Sports School in Warendorf and the other will be placed in the middle of Berlin in front of the Ministry of Defence.
The 3.20-metre-high sculptures, which stand on a four-by-four-metre base, were made in the Gemeinnützige Werkstätten Neuss by ten employees with mental disabilities. “This was a very special assignment for us and our employees,” says GWN operations manager Ulrich May. “Otherwise we mainly do industrial carpentry like pallets or shipping crates, so such a big order is a welcome change and also a challenge.” The lettering “I AM” is reminiscent of the poem “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley, which gives the games their name. “I am the master of my lot. I am the captain of my soul” is the conclusion of Henley’s poem, an uplifting message for all participants in the Invictus Games.
The two sculptures are part of the “Summer of Respect”, which was proclaimed before the Invictus Games. The Games bring into focus topics that were previously under-lit in the German public sphere: The price of freedom, society’s treatment of veterans and respect for those who risk their health and even their lives for democratic values and security. Although the members of the German armed forces, police, fire brigade and rescue services perform their service to society responsibly, dutifully and selflessly, there is often a lack of social respect for their commitment. The Invictus Games are focusing on this respect for the services of the emergency services with the “Summer of Respect” campaign and want to express their gratitude to all emergency services. Initiated by Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, the games are a visible sign of respect for this commitment to service.
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