Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Day it Rained on Our Parade, 9 August 1968

A couple of weeks ago, Singapore just celebrated her 47th birthday.
I'm actually quite curious to find out:

What does National Day means to you?

To me, National Day is more than just a public holiday. It is a significant occasion for all Singaporeans. The 47th years of independence does not come by easy, Singapore had gone through hardship, struggled through the darkest storm and obstacles to become who she is today.

Let's not take all these achievements for granted. We should all be united together as one Singapore and work together hand in hand.

Singapore is my country, my home. It's here where I belong.

***

Do you still remember the days when our people are united as one, where we stood together side by side?

No?

Not to worry, let me take you through the time machine and travel back to the those days to relive the moments, and hear the stories:

The Day It Rained On Our Parade, 9 August 1968

那一年我们淋着雨

It was Singapore third National Day Parade, the British had decided that they would withdraw their troops. Tens and thousands of Singaporeans were threatened with unemployment and instability.


As if mirroring the sentiments in Singapore, the skies opened. The winds blew. And rain poured relentlessly on the parade.


However, no one ran for shelter - students, participants, politicians, and spectators. Soaking our skin, but not dampening our spirits.Singaporeans held their ground - performers continued dancing, soldiers continued marching, people continued cheering. Passionate and determined, ready to weather everything that future brings, together.


That was the spirit of 1968 - of unity, pride, and a sense of common destiny.

A day of tribulation that became the pride of a nation.

***

To let you experience the defining moment in Singapore's history where Singaporeans stood together at the 1968 National Day Parade and braved the heavy rain, an interactive Facebook app will be launched on mySingapore.sg Facebook page, featuring:

- Scrollable panorama of the Padang to view the full parade
- Exclusive photos from the actual 1968 parade
- Comic-book style interpretation of the iconic day by Imaginary Friends
- 7 character illustrations and stories to provide different perspectives of the event!

Click on the icon above to read the individual stories of the character.

To the officer, National Day Parade represents their achievements, showcase their patriotism and reinforces our belief in this country that we are all citizen of.

That day, it was raining heavily but everyone held their ground.
The scene of our impressive display of Singapore Armed Forces Contingents touched my heart.


Rain or shine, this is our pride.

***

I loved watching NDP Parade & Ceremony every year, I personally think that it is the best segment.

The Parade & Ceremony segment represents the 5 pillars of Total Defence: Military Defence, Civil Defence, Economic Defence, Social Defence and Psychological Defence. Everyone of them looked so professional and smart in uniform.

It inspired me to become one of them.

 Memories of the past came flowing back. I still remembered those days when I was with National Police Cadet Corps:


Where we wore the smart no. 1 uniform.
I was chosen to be in the Guard of Honour contingent for one of school ceremony. We had started our training 4 months before the ceremony, we trained hard and give in our best for every training.

During the actual day, it was also raining. We had no choice but to conduct the parade ceremony indoor. We felt so disheartened because we had trained so hard for it and we really wanted to show everybody our achievement. But thankfully, the heavy rain has turned into drizzle right before our ceremony. Everyone of us were so happy and requested to march in the slight drizzle. This was what we are all waiting and practicing hard for, to march with pride and honour.

The app illustrations were created by Imaginary Friends Studios who has worked on projects such as Batman, Superman, DOTA and World of Warcraft.

The application is really very cool.  With it, I am able to picture the scene of 1968 NDP. It indeed an unforgettable and a heart warming one.

Like "mySingapore.sg" Facebook Page and start exploring the app - www.ndp68.sg

***

In conjunction with the campaign, a 4-part drama series and documentary will air in August and September, entitled "The Day It Rained On Our Parade".

- 4-part Drama: Every Saturday (4 - 25 August) 10.30pm on Channel 8 [You can still catch it on xinmsn]

- Documentary: 24 August at 8pm (Channel NewsAsia)
16 September at 10.45pm (Channel 8)
17 September at 9pm (Vasantham)
24 September at 8.30pm (Suria)

Do you know that our Prime Minister, Mr Lee Hsien Loong, also took place in the 1968 NDP?

PM Lee was then a 16 years old student who held his clarinet and was part of a combined school brass band. It was a memorable moment for him and his bandmates.

Like the calm after a storm, Singapore has made it on its own for 47 years and counting.
Remember 1968 for the unity, pride and sense of common destiny Singaporeans portrayed for Singapore.

United we stand,
Divided we fall.
Let's stand together as a nation and we will overcome all hardships that comes our way.

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