Well, the week is now over, but the memories and emotions will remain with us for a long time (forever!?).
Here are 5 of mine …
1. Singaporeans at their best (united, helpful, appreciative, responsive, orderly … )
– the volunteers who distributed drinks, food, tissue, umbrellas, flowers (the florists who gave them out for free), the tributes and words of appreciation Singaporeans penned in fb and at tribute sites, the ushers everywhere who guided the crowd,
the orderly queues everywhere and everyday (even when the wait was 8 hours!),
the improvement of the queueing system after Day 1 (my belief that someone would do something quickly about the queuing system was right 🙂
2. The spontaneous snaking queues and how orderly it was on Day 1 even without the railings for crowd control, how long the queues were on all the other days (even in the wee hours: the girls thought of going early Friday morning but wait time was 8 hours at 3 am!), and the patience that everyone showed while in the queue (on Day 1, when SY and me joined it at 1015 am just after coming out of the Raffles Place MRT exit, it did not move at all for 30 min; then when it moved, we advanced like 5 steps …, which led to me going on a walkabout to “study” what was happening; turns out to be a bottleneck as two queues merged into one near the Cavenagh Bridge, that crosses over to Parliament House side. Everywhere I went, noticed that people waited patiently, and were in good spirits even though it was under the noon sun).
3. The best National Education one can ever get!
I think that not only students learnt so much about Singapore’s recent history last week, but all Singaporeans (myself included) received a much better understanding of the events pre and post-1965. For one thing, I believed the interest shown by my girls is indicative that this would be a very special moment in the collective memory of all Singaporeans, young and old (and middle aged): how from “mudflats”, we now have the modern city of today, and that it was the result of visionary leadership, hard work, courage, and commitment to make Singapore extraordinary. We must never ever take for granted that the Singapore of today is the natural order of things!
4. Standing in the pouring rain at Shenton Way on the day of the state funeral with fellow Singaporeans, and with my own family … everyone was wet even with umbrellas, but there was no grumbling heard as we braved the weather together to pay our final respects as the cortege pass the Singapore Conference Hall and AXA Tower (where we were standing on the steps) …
5. How totally awesome LKY was as a visionary, global statesman, intellectual, mentor, father, husband, leader, … A GREAT MAN!!