I arrived at the Padang at 3am.
I knew that the queue was temporarily closed at that point, but I felt I had to try. I knew I would regret it if I didn't.
After finishing my late shift, I took a rather empty MRT train to a definitely not empty City Hall MRT station.
A crowd had gathered at the open space outside Raffles City Shopping Centre.
People were milling about, looking for a way to join the queue.
Eventually, I found myself at the Adelphi. In front of me was a woman named Penny and her 10-year-old son. After an hour, we had moved less than 5m.
I had gone prepared - I had a foldable stool, buns, packets of milk and fully-charged power banks.
Penny, her son and I took turns sitting on the stool. We shared my food and I passed a bun to someone who was hungry. Two hours later, out came a mat and snacks from someone else.
I dozed off several times while the children around me became friends and played together.
Then, after 6am, the queue started moving - fast - past City Hall MRT station and into the Padang.
There was the long walk past the Esplanande, the Floating Platform and then straight to the Parliament House.
It was a walk to remember.
Everything around me, the skyscrapers and other landmarks, would not be possible without Mr Lee's foresight, leadership and relentless obsession with Singapore.
Despite it being a six-hour affair - I was out by 9.30am - I was glad I made it. This period of mourning has brought out the best of Singaporeans - united as one people, one nation, one Singapore.
This article was first published on Mar 29, 2015.
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