A HOME FOR RESPECT IN BERLIN
WE WERE THERE! – The Invictus Games 2023 project team accompanied the March of Remembrance.
Sore feet, tired and sick to my stomach; but still proud and incredibly happy to be a part of it. I am Ensign Inga Schüler and I am marching for Corporal Ronny Irrgang. Lance Corporal Ronny Irrgang was a military driver in the 1st KFOR contingent in 2000. He fell with his truck and trailer into a 70m deep ravine and lost his life. I wore his name on my chest during the march. I marched every single kilometre for him.
It doesn’t matter if your legs hurt or if blisters form under your feet – nobody gives up here, and I wont either. For Ronny and the other comrades. Everyone keeps running until they reach the finish. You just switch off your head, ignore the pain. Together with Ronny, I wanted to march to the finish. The tangible camaraderie, the emotions, the backdrop and the organisation were a huge support. All these factors drove me on.
After almost 25km, there was a meeting with the relatives of the bereaved at the German Bundestag. The feeling that comes over you when the relatives read the name of the deceased on the uniform and mourn is indescribable. It is a mixture of respect, sadness, anger but also joy. Joy, as I continue to make Ronny a part of our midst. I tried to be strong, strong for the families and relatives, strong for the other comrades, but I had no chance against the tears. We included the relatives in our marching group and marched the remaining kilometres to the Federal Ministry of Defence together. We show that no one is forgotten. No one.
The march ended with the laying of a wreath and time for remembrance. It was a very emotional end, where everyone could sort out their thoughts and say goodbye.
I took part in the March of Remembrance for the first time and marched the last 27km stage through Berlin. My goal is to accompany the whole march next year, because no one can take this experience and this memory away from me.
The March of Remembrance was initiated in 2018 by the reservist working group Military Brotherhood Germany. It takes place once a year in Berlin and is intended to make the memory of the loss of our comrades visible. This year, 135 men and women marched 119 kilometres in four days. One kilometre for each of the 116 fallen and 3000 metres for the more than 3300 comrades who died in service. The march started at the military training area in Lehnin and led through the Forest of Remembrance to the Bendlerblock in Berlin. The march ended with the laying of a wreath by members of the Guard Battalion at the Federal Ministry of Defence.