SG50 Singapore’s Golden Jubilee

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SG50 Singapore’s Golden Jubilee celebrations to mark this historic milestone in an epic & emotive spectacle, on an unprecedented scale.

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Majulah Singapura – Our Golden Jubilee Celebrations is a timely reminder of our early struggles as a nation, about how we overcame the obstacles, to celebrate our collective achievements & rally Singaporeans to aspire & work for a better future.

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Though this is not the main venue for the celebrations proper, tickets to the Floating Platform seats are not easy to come by. So I wouldn’t miss the chance of a lifetime to celebrate our Nation’s 50th birthday bash.

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In this sea of red & white, I stand united with my fellow countrymen in rejoicing & celebrating Singapore’s independence. It is nostalgic when we remember the hard work & sacrifices made by the pioneer generation to build Singapore to what it is today. A poignant video of modern Singapore’s founding father Mr Lee Kuan Yew who passed on this year on 23rd March brought tears to many eyes. This would be the first NDP since 1966 that he would not be celebrating together with us.

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Singapore gained independence on the 9th day of August 1965 & in remembrance of this momentous occasion, a recording of the Proclamation of Singapore’s independence read by our late founding father Mr Lee Kuan Yew was aired on radio & television at 9am.

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The main parade venue is at the Padang; the site of the 1st post-independence NDP held in 1966. Both ticketed venues at the Padang & the Float have a total a seating capacity of 26,000 & people were trickling in as early as 3pm before the commencement of the parade.

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The Floating Platform was opened at 3:30pm & the crowds came earlier to grab choice seats at their coloured coded ticket zones. We were all seated by 5pm & I was impressed with the army, police & volunteers who ushered the crowd in an orderly & efficient manner.

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Many Singaporeans turned up & lined the streets around the Marina to catch a glimpse of the action braving the elements. Large LED screens broadcasting the NDP from the Padang “live” was installed at eight prominent locations around the Bay area.

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Strong winds & low-lying clouds obstructed view of the designated landing area where the Red Lions were supposed to parachute & land. So it was unfortunate that this exciting segment of the Parade had to be scrapped for safety reasons.

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We had fun practising the Kallang wave – standing up, raising arms & waving enthusiastically the Singapore flag or the special edition SG50 scarves ( that came along with other stuff in the funpack) creating the domino effect. The Float offers the best view for the Aerial display, Presidential Gun Salute & the Fireworks display.

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Waving our flags as we anticipate the flyby of our national carrier Airbus A380 adorning the National flag to mark our Golden Jubilee.

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Here comes the Airbus A380 flying in from the western part of Singapore towards the east where Changi International Airport is situated. The largest commercial aircraft designed for the 21st century aviation industry, it boasts the quietest & most spacious cabin in the skies.

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We only have the belly view of the A380 with Singapore Airlines’ logo & Majulah Singapura “Onward Singapore”. This uniquely sized aircraft has a capacity to carry 544 passengers in a 4 class configuration & up to 853 in a single class configuration that provides wider seats as well.

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Passing under the Helix Bridge at the Marina, the Singapore Artillery force is seen here escorting the 21 guns.

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A 21 gun salute is carried out for National Day Parades in Singapore by the Singapore Artillery during the Presidential inspection of parade contingents.

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The Republic of Singapore Air Force fly in bearing the nation’s emblem.

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The gigantic Singapore flag flying high above the ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay.

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A Boeing CH-47 Chinook & 2 other helicopters flying Singapore’s state flag in salute to the nation.

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Twenty Republic of Singapore Air Forces’s F-16 jets flying in superb formation to display 50 over the skies; much to the delight of the crowds.

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Six F-16Cs Fighting Falcons of the RSAF Black Knights aerobatic team roaring in at the opening curtain. These planes are painted red & white with the crescent & 5 stars spanning prominently across its body. Unfortunately with the overcast skies & altitude, it is not visible to us on the ground.

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Marina Bay Floating Platform overlooking the Esplanade, Theatres on the Bay.

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This “Arrowhead” helicopter formation is led by two Sikorsky S-70B Seahawk naval helicopters, followed by two Airbus AS-332 Super Pumas, two Boeing AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopters & two Boeing CH-47 Chinooks.

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Doing the “Vic” formation is the Lockheed C-130 Hercules a multi purpose military transport aircraft followed by two Fokker FK-50 used in maritime air surveillance, search & resource operations, aeromedical evacuations & transportation of personnel.

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In “Close” formation is the Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker used in military aerial refuelling followed by four F-5 Fighter jets & finally a Gulfstream G550 AEW modified with a sensor package for Airborne Early Warning, a radar system designed to detect aircraft, ships & vehicles at long ranges & engage in battle command directing fighter & attack aircraft strikes.

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The Black Knights doing a riveting, vertical climb perhaps symbolic of our Nation’s aspiration to reach the skies & build a better tomorrow for our country & the generations of Singaporeans to come.

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An impressive aerial criss-cross display by the Black Knights as they thunder across the skies over Marina Bay wowing the crowds with their prowess.

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Marina Bay lies at the southern part of Singapore in the Central area & is a 360 hectare extension of the Central Business District. The Marina belt includes commercial, residential, hotel & entertainment outlets built on reclaimed land.

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In 2008, Marina Barrage was built, converting this water basin into a downtown freshwater Marina reservoir providing water supply, flood control, water sports facilities & a lifestyle attraction.

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Evening falls over Singapore’s Central Business District.

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The stage where a concert would be staged after the NDP concludes.

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The Singapore Leopard 2SG forming part of the mobile column drive past through the Parade square at the Padang before arriving at the Float amidst rousing cheers from the spectators. This modified version of the standard German Leopard 2A4 has extra armour installed at the front & front-sides of the hull & turret & protective armour rods at the rear to protect against cumulative projectiles. This joint venture work was carried out by Germany’s IBD Deisenroth Engineering & ST Kinetics.

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Though the main action was at the Padang, the atmosphere here was still one of exhilaration & jubilation. Singaporeans were cheering & waving their flags enthusiastically. It is often said that Singaporeans are a reserved lot who are subdued & less responsive even at concerts held by big names from abroad, so this was a pleasant change.

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The Helix Bridge is a stainless steel pedestrian bridge that links Marina Centre & Marina South; lit up in national colours.

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Oh what a beautiful sight…. the Singapore flag draping the grand Fullerton Hotel in the light show! Over 15 buildings around the bay are awash in red & white.

The 5 min Grand finale of fireworks

Visible from a birds-eye view of the city centre is a 360° Fireworks display on an unprecedented scale as Singapore celebrates her Golden Jubilee. There are about 165 different visual effects included in this display.

Fireworks showering blessings over Singapore. My wish for Singapore is that she remains a caring inclusive society, where racial harmony prevails & good governance that will bring stability, peace & prosperity for our nation.

The big bang came right after the National Anthem was sung in a continuous 20 secs burst of colour that lit the night.

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The singing of the National anthem & reciting of the Pledge was an awesome moment for me as I renewed my allegiance to my country. I am proud to be a Singaporean & I pray that this country will grow from strength to strength.

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One People, One Nation, One Singapore! This little “Red dot” on the world map is where I call Home & where my heart will always be! I am blessed & proud to be a citizen of beloved Singapore.

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