Show of pride

When Captain Timothy Low looks back at this year's National Day Parade (NDP), he would likely recall thundering down the Padang with his father in a war vehicle.

The time they spent together in the Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicle allowed Capt Low, 26, a first-time NDP participant, to appreciate what his father, retired colonel Edwin Low, had done.

Said Capt Low, an assistant operations officer on the Republic of Singapore Navy's RSS Intrepid frigate: "Being part of the Mobile Column, seeing the display of the strength of our assets, I realised we've come so far because of the hard work of the earlier generations.

"There's definitely a sense of pride about being able to take part in it with my father. I've seen the kind of operations he went for, for example, going to Indonesia in 2004 after the tsunami.

"The kind of things he did really made a difference, and that was a deciding factor for me in joining the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF)."

Mr Low, 56, who retired as a medical officer in the navy 10 years ago, said being in the Mobile Column with his son was "interesting".

"It's unique - SG50 doesn't happen every year. It's very significant... And to (be part of the NDP) with my son is a doubly unique experience," said Mr Low, now chief operating officer of the SingHealth Regional Health System.

The Lows were part of the Mobile Column, in a segment called "From strength to strength". Nine families from the SAF, Singapore Civil Defence Force and Singapore Police Force who have served or are serving took centre stage.

The Mobile Column, which returned to the NDP after five years, involved a convoy of 179 vehicles. They included 26 types of vehicles in the line-up for the first time, making this year's Mobile Column the most diverse yet.

Many waited for hours to catch the convoy. Mr Anand R., 46, was at Raffles Boulevard with his wife Merlyn Talaba, 38, and their children Darshini, six, and Giresh, five.

"We couldn't get tickets to the parade so this is the next best thing," said Mr Anand, who is self-employed. "I wanted to give my son a taste of what I experienced as a combat engineer in the army. I'm feeling a bit nostalgic now."


This article was first published on Aug 10, 2015.
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