On the 9th of August, 2018, was the 53rd year of Singapore’s independence since 1965. The whole nation got together on this day to celebrate the nation’s birthday with the theme, “We Are Singapore”. The National Day Parade (NDP) was held at Marina Bay Floating Platform, with over 2,600 participants and 33 marching contingents. Some who were unable to get tickets to the NDP gathered near the vicinity to celebrate, hoping to catch a glimpse of the most anticipated fireworks in the evening.
“We are Singapore” celebrates the people, the nation, and home. The theme emphasizes the collective—regardless of origin and wherever the people are, Singapore is the way of life and will always be home. It is also a pledge of unity and togetherness despite Singapore’s diverse culture. It also defines the Singapore Spirit, empowering Singaporeans to overcome future challenges and adversities together.
For this year’s NDP, the World Mission Society Church of God collaborated with the Public Hygiene Council (PHC) for a clean-up campaign. About 150 volunteers from the Church of God gathered near Marina Bay Sands—one of the popular places where many gather to celebrate the nation’s birthday. As early as about 3 pm, both Singaporeans and foreigners started reserving ‘the best seats” to see some of the highlights of the NDP. These include the air show and the Naval Combat Divers who would, for the first time, conduct a freefall water jump to demonstrate their operational prowess. As spectators came in early, they prepared some drinks and food to enjoy the night. Some sat along the benches while some laid mats along the pathways.
Volunteers from the Church of God donned in their signature yellow vests held signboards saying “Let’s keep the Singapore we love clean!” and “I binned it right!”. There were curious onlookers and the message was conveyed as the volunteers walked around. They approached members of the public, giving them gentle reminders to bin their litters, and where the nearest bin was. All were receptive and were more than happy to play their part. Foldable fans and pens were given out as souvenirs as a reward for their small but significant efforts.
As the NDP draws to an end, spectators slowly dispersed and left the area. The volunteers then put on their gloves, preparing to comb the area and discard litter that were left behind. Efforts of the volunteers were evidently paid off as the amount of trash were negligible. Everyone had a fantastic time on the Nation’s birthday and the volunteers were elated as they were able to impart the message of keeping Singapore clean on this celebratory day of our nation. Members of the World Mission Society Church of God look forward to their next National Day cleanup.