POP loh! - Passing Out Parade after Lee Kuan Yew's death

BMT graduation parade

Thank god i managed to get myself up at such an ungodly hour to attend my friend's POP. It is the second time I've attended a POP. I must say it is a rare experience to be in the central area that early in the morning.

rising sun above the dna bridge in singapore

The skyscrapers look very different under the morning light. You can see the sunlight spilling over the skyscrapers giving it a sense of glory. I was wondering whether anyone was working on a Saturday Morning.

MBS hotel and artscience museum
Singapore skyscraper

I often find myself marvelled by such grand views. It seems as if the prestige and riches of the corporate world were beckoning me to join them.

nsf sergeant back view
Sergeant

The Passing Out Parade is one of the significant events a man will go through. It is akin to our poly graduation. The parade signifies the end of a long arduous journey and a beginning of something greater.

Having experienced it, i must say I felt a sense of euphoria as they announced we were officially Private soldiers.

It is one of those feelings that i will never forget. There is this feeling of immense satisfaction from completing something, after exhausting all your energy, just like submitting your research paper after burning the midnight oil!

all the soldiers at attention

The event starts at 7.45am and lasts till 8.35am. The soldiers march in and the VIP gives the speech. Then the presenting of awards and SAF band performance. Followed by the SAF pledge, national anthem and BMT roar.

mourning for lee kuan yew

However, this time is a little bit special as we mourned for the passing of Mr Lee Kuan Yew. As you can see the picture above, everyone was standing still and some were bowing their head to mourn for his death.

soldiers marching past podium

Initially I heard that there was no cap throwing because of his passing. But my friend said that his superior felt that the event was very significant so they didn't cancel it.

Aside from the minute of silence, the event went as per normal. It was getting pretty hot as the sun had risen. I could feel my face half baked from the sun shining on my left!

back view of nsf

I think not a lot of people realize this. I believe the POP venue is very meaningful. You see, the soldiers are standing in front of the skyscrapers which signifies their mission is to defend our country's progress.

They are not a useless byproduct of an archaic system deemed by the cynicals, but they are here to protect the blood, sweat and tears poured into developing Singapore to what it has become today.

Quite an insight right?

kid holding soldier's hand

Anyway after the parade we headed to city hall to grab our breakfast at Starbucks. Amidst the sea of couples holding hands, I saw this beautiful moment. Such a rare and loving sight isn't it?

soldier holding his little brother's hand

"You gonna be as strong as kor kor one day so you can protect Singapore like i do, because Singapore is where our family is."

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