Each year, I look forward to the arrival of August for one reason: National Day. Today, Singapore celebrates its 49th National Day, what a journey it has been for the NDP organising committee. From rehearsal to rehearsal, every show is nothing short of spectacular. This year will most likely be the last (since 2007) that the celebrations will be held against the magnificent backdrop of modern Singapore’s Marina Bay and CBD skyline which I find symbolic because it puts into perspective how far we have come as a tiny red dot.
|Possibly the last year with such a magnificent backdrop|
In my previous post, I wrote of how the RSAF F15 pilots and personnel from the Army, Police and the Navy won me over with their admirable dedication and commitment to precision. As my family counts down to watching the NDP parade LIVE on the TV this evening, I want to pay tribute to all these groups:
1) The Motivators: These youths (from our ITEs, JCS and Polytechnics) help to ‘ra-ra’ the crowd into the celebrative mood. From the time we approach the floating platform to the time we leave, their friendliness, enthusiasm, warm hellos & goodbyes kept the spirits flying high. They also double up as ushers and photo ambassadors under the blazing sun. Thank you motivators! Your smiles are infectious!
2) Road Marshalls, First Aid and Security Personnel: While we were entertained by the parade segments, you stood watch so that we all can celebrate and return home safely. Thank you. Add to that a bevvy of ‘unsung’ heroes working tirelessly in the background: sound and media crew, photographers, fun-pack packers and yes, cleaners.
3) The Spectators: You came….in solidarity, with young and old in tow. Braving the sun, rain and the elements, to keep the spirit of a young nation high and strong. You made that effort to dress in patriotic colours of Red and whites, sang the National Anthem and recited the pledge with so much gusto that it gave me goose-pimples (the good kind)…For passing on that sense of pride in Singapore to the next generation, thank you.
4) The Emcees: Hossan Leong, Siti Khalijah, Ebi Shankara, Jean Danker and Joakim Gomez for leading everyone in the sing-along medley of familiar National Day songs…and doing it with so much energy, passion and versatility. Who says Singaporeans can’t speak in standard English? Our talents truly abound.
5) The Contingents, Military Personnels and Performers: For the sweat and toil, the hours of waiting around, the number of times you had to repeat the routines over and over again, the number of weekends you sacrificed…just to put up the best birthday party for Singapore. This year’s parade is close to our hearts because it focuses back to basic – the people: People with real struggles in life; people who have overcome challenges and people who know that despite it all, they have a home, a country they can count on.
We have never had the chance to watch the Parade LIVE at the floating platform on 9 August but still, I’m thankful for the very thing that made Singapore what it is today – the indefatigable spirit of her people. Before I sign off, I’d like to salute all who are involved in making the NDP a success. May this Singapore spirit live on and grow strong from year to year. Happy 49th National Day and Majulah Singapura!
|Happy Birthday Singapore!|