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NDP to honour pioneers and other Singaporeans

LEE JIAN XUAN on 19 Jul 2014

The Straits Times


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SINGAPOREANS who have toiled long and hard to build the country will be recognised and celebrated in video and photo montages screened at this year’s National Day Parade (NDP), event organisers said yesterday.


The Heartbeat montages will pay tribute to groups like the pioneer generation, and will be screened during the parade and ceremony segment, the first time it will have such a backdrop.


Traditionally, this segment, which consists of civil and military contingents forming up and marching, is formal and orderly, led by commands issued by the parade commander and sergeant-major.


But this year’s parade is “a parade with heart”, said Senior Lieutenant-Colonel Joseph Tan, who chairs the NDP’s parade and ceremony committee. “We want to recognise Singaporeans from all walks of life, past and present, coming together to celebrate what it means to be Singaporean.”


Speaking at a media preview yesterday, he noted: “We want to pay tribute to our pioneers, to recognise their struggles... and our caring families and communities that give us strength.”


The contingents will lead the 30,000-strong audience to sing along to a medley of familiar songs, such as One People, One Nation, One Singapore and We Will Get There, to welcome President Tony Tan Keng Yam, who traditionally arrives during the parade segment.


Close to 2,000 participants will be marching – the most since the event has been held at The Float @ Marina Bay.


It will be the seventh and possibly last time that the show will be staged in front of the city skyline. A potential venue for Singapore’s 50th anniversary next year is the new Sports Hub in Kallang.


Parade participants will include eight marching for the first time from the Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore. The eight, who are aged between 24 and 48, will also play drums in the seven-minute-long military band display that opens the parade.


Five out of the 14 civilian contingents will be taking part for the first time. They will join 21 other military and uniformed contingents marching this year.


The segment will wrap up with a display of military vehicles from the army, air force, navy, police and civil defence force.


Following it will be the show segment of the parade, which will be directed this year by singer-songwriter Dick Lee.


The parade will be commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Wong Pui Pin, 36, who is the brigade second-in-command of the 54th Singapore Armoured Brigade.


Undergraduate Derrick Sim, 25, who could not get tickets to the parade in the ballot, still intends to catch it on television.


“It is nice to see everyone gathering together. I can’t wait for next year when Singapore celebrates its 50th birthday, as there has been so much hype,” he said.


Source: The Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Limited. Reproduced with permission.

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