This year's SG50 National Day Parade was, by far, the best. Kudos to the organising committee and the thousands of volunteers and helpers from the civil service, the uniformed services, as well as schools, in putting up this impeccable show.
What was significant and dearly missed was founding father Lee Kuan Yew, whose seat was left empty, except for a couple of sprays of beautiful yellow aranda orchids named after him.
It gave me great pride to see the display of our armed forces and sophisticated military equipment.
I also salute our Black Knights for their daring aerial displays; the traditional fly-past of the state flag was also a sight to behold.
The Padang performances were well choreographed and the various segments merged smoothly. The beautiful mix of soft lighting was pleasing to the eye and did not mar the performances.
Our home-grown singers Stefanie Sun, Kit Chan, JJ Lin and Corrinne May gave beautiful renditions of National Day songs and livened the spirits of the huge crowd. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Cabinet ministers and opposition MPs were also seen singing along.
The performance by women from the Singapore Soka Association and the one by 500 primary school pupils lighting up the stage in LED suits were indeed captivating.
The closing of the show saw our well-loved President Tony Tan Keng Yam mobbed by a huge crowd, and he cheerfully obliged by shaking hands with as many people as he could. It was a while before he could leave.
In all, it was simply a magical fairyland on Sunday night.
The fireworks display held the crowds, from the Padang to Marina Bay, in awe. It was a show truly befitting of our SG50 celebrations.
Jeff Tan Hong Liak
This article was first published on Aug 11, 2015.
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