At Marina Bay, Singapore celebrates its 56th birthday with a 600-strong ceremonial march


On Monday, the Republic celebrated its 56th year of independence with a scaled-down ceremonial procession at the Marina Bay floating platform, with 600 uniformed participants (Aug 9).
In a first for a National Day Parade, another 200 persons from nine uniformed youth groups and 12 social and economic organizations joined virtually in pre-recorded segments. The proceedings were conducted with military precision, with strict security and crowd control measures in place. The procession was held for the second year amid the Covid-19 pandemic. President Halimah Yacob, in her fourth National Day Parade as president, reviewed the parade soon after 9.20 a.m.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Cabinet ministers, and other MPs arrived in traditional red-and-white attire. They were seated at a safe distance apart, according to the norms.
Except for a part in the middle with 100 persons, including government officeholders, MPs, and “ordinary heroes” – Singaporeans who have served on the front lines or in critical responsibilities or who have stepped up as community volunteers throughout the pandemic. There were also members of the press present.
As President Halimah inspected the parade, a 21-gun salute was fired from a Mobility 3rd Generation (M3G) military raft on the water as a military honor.
Around 150 people were visible on the roof of the Marina Barrage, with groups following social separation. Staff was spotted telling spectators not to eat while watching the parade.
Although the Padang area was quieter than usual, about 50 people dressed in red and white were spaced out, some with cameras waiting for the fly-past. The lion head emblem was printed on many of the masks.


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