|Same same but different this time around.|
This is perhaps one of the most difficult post for me to write. Why? Well, I’ve experienced a myriad of activities over the past month or so that has left me a tad overwhelmed. I suspect primarily that it has brought out the ‘little boy’ within me. I mean how can a ‘little boy’ contain his excitement when he had the opportunity to go on-board an actual warship and was taken on a Fast Craft Utility (FCU) ride during the annual ‘Navy@Vivo’ event. The experiences then hit closer to home for this plane enthusiast with an exclusive visit to the hanger of the F15SG fighter jets and meeting those pilots behind the magnificent flying machines that would enthrall the crowds with their precision fly past. Boys and fighter jets – inseparable.
|Our National Flag, Our Pride|
If that’s not exciting enough, I went on a ride across the mouth of the Singapore river with a bunch of balaclava-clad men on a Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RHIB), firing heavy machine guns across the city center as part of the total defence military display during the National Day Parade (NDP) rehearsal. After which, I mingled with the army personnel who were manning their impressive war machines. To cap it off, my family and I witnessed the much anticipated National Day Parade (NDP) rehearsal from the floating platform complete with resplendent fireworks. How do I even begin writing about these? Where do I start?
|Adrenaline Rush – on the fast speed RHIB|
|Chasing ‘bad guys’ across the Singapore River|
To expand on my thoughts about these experiences per se would be obvious and predictable, coming out like a laundry listing of spoiler alerts. No. I wanted to write on about something that would do the people behind the parade justice.
In fact, I think I’ve just hit it right there – the people.
|There’s no generation gap when it comes to patriotism.|
To me, the common thread that runs through the amazing myriad of experiences leading up to NDP 2014 would be the insurmountable level of commitment and dedication of these people. Regardless whether they are piloting the F15SG, or if they are out at sea in the dead of night patrolling our waters, or if they had to stand in position under the hot sun week after week, going through the same routines again or even just waiting hours for their turn to march onto stage which may last only a few minutes. It touches me on two fronts: 1. Beyond the machines and their duties, these people are just as ordinary as you and me. No different – people with families, people who commute, people who struggle to balance work and family etc… 2. These ordinary people are giving their extraordinary best for their country, their homeland Singapore.
|With one of the heroes from SCDF who ‘runs in’ while others ‘run out’ of a fire.|
|It’s not everyday you say ‘Hi’ to a Tank driver.|
|With some of the brave people who protect our country…. so we can go around our daily lives peacefully.|
Then…there are these other people – you, me, the common folks who would gripe about the weather, the ERP, the MRT breakdowns, the education system, the CPF policy and about the gover…. Yes, admit it. But seeing everyone putting all these aside and joined in solidarity as one voice, one spirit, one nation celebrating our National Day is really awe-inspiring. I personally will never tire of seeing parents, grandparents, friends and family sharing the NDP moment with their loved ones. I think there’s something to be said about teaching and imparting loyalty – a much understated value in times of peace but yet it’s so essential in moments of crisis.
|Guards marching into the crowds…Quite symbolic actually – we are One.|
|Hello there Officer!|
Our People, Our Home – that’s the theme of this year’s NDP. Don’t get me wrong, it’s always been about the country’s people but this year’s NDP, for a start, it’s not about the song – there’s none as you would know by now and no, not about some fictitious Merlion or another creative historical rendition of our country’s relatively short existence. It’s entirely threaded on the stories of fellow Singaporeans among us. May I add also that it doesn’t mask our common every struggles. Without giving too much away, you will see and hear of familiar and authentic stories of Singaporean’s everyday lives and how they rise above the challenges. You may even see yourself within those stories.
|NDP – a time for friends…|
|and a time for families…|
|Moved by the spirit of her countrymen.|
So this year, as you watch the National Day Parade, look beneath the glitzy performances and the mass displays. Inside there is a Singaporean, much like you and me – whose story includes giving his best to our families, our society, our country despite our differences and imperfections. This NDP, it’s about the people and their stories. Your stories and mine. So….start by telling your stories to your loved ones so that your legacy become part of theirs and together we write a new chapter for Singapore beyond 49 years old. Happy Birthday Singapore!
|Simply electrifying to celebrate the nation’s birthday as ONE with our fellow countrymen!|
|Portrait of a young patriot.|
We really like these 2 MTVs produced this year of some of our most well-loved NDP songs. They feature spontaneous scenes of our familiar heartlands and take a peek at the many faces of Singapore – across races, cultures, ages, professions and challenges, echoing the theme of Our People, Our Home. Enjoy!
|One People. One Nation. One Singapore.|