SINGAPORE - Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) and the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) marked 50 years of Singapore's independence on Thursday at the National day Observance ceremony held at MINDEF.
The ceremony, led by Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen, saw around 2,500 personnel from MINDEF and SAF recite the national pledge and sing the national anthem.
During the ceremony, SAF Music and Drama Company artistes and children from Cherie Hearts @ Gombak put up a stirring performance in line with this year's National Day Parade theme, "Majulah Singapura", with MINDEF and SAF personnel joining to sing a medley of National Day songs.
To add significance to this year's ceremony, Dr Ng, together with Minister of State for Defence Dr Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman, Permanent Secretary (Defence) Mr Chan Yeng Kit, Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant-General (LG) Ng Chee Meng and Permanent Secretary (Defence Development) Major-General (MG) (NS) Ng Chee Khern, officiated the commissioning and sealing of a specially fabricated time capsule - the first time capsule commissioned in MINDEF.
Measuring 40cm by 150cm, the stainless steel time capsule was commissioned in commemoration of 50 years of Singapore's independence and SAF50.
Approximately 800 items were contributed by MINDEF personnel to the capsule, and items of note include an SAF50 commemorative book, 50 high-resolution photographs of MINDEF's present surroundings, notes addressed to future senior MINDEF office holders by their present-day counterparts, and SG50/SAF50 memorabilia.
Deputy Secretary (Administration) Han Neng Hsiu explained how the items were chosen. He said: "We selected meaningful items that would enable future generations of MINDEF/SAF personnel to better appreciate the achievements in the first 50 years and the progress that will be made in the next 50 years. The time capsule reflects our confidence in Singapore's future."
After the ceremony, the time capsule will be moved to its exhibition location at level one of the MINDEF building, and it will be opened during our nation's 100th anniversary in August 2065.
Also present at the observance ceremony were Service Chiefs and senior officials from MINDEF and the SAF. All SAF units, including overseas training detachments, will be holding observance ceremonies as well to celebrate National Day.