#RememberingLKY: With emotionsMarch 30, 2015
What made LKY's passing once in a lifetime for me wasn't the fact that a great man died, but that for once, there was an immense outpouring of emotions from Singaporeans.
Public displays of crying, of singing, standing in the rain, queuing 8 hours.. All of which are abnormal. The old wept for the loss of a generation, the middle aged read about his quotable quotes and Western media stories, and the young simply followed. It was easy to get swept up by the river of tears, and join in.
I had thought we are a stoic bunch. We were the perfect result of traditional Asian parenting and a unique law ruling system. Emotions are never the first response. We are ruled by our head - practical and realistic.
Yet I've never felt more love and passion for the country that we live in than now. That is something a nationwide birthday celebration, even of 50 years, will never achieve. We have been numb to the yearly parades and fireworks -- just like eating moon cakes or dumplings, it comes and goes. But now, it's almost as if all the previous celebrations, all the heart maps and writing of your Singapore stories were a dry run for the past week's affairs.
The old man must have foreseen this. But I bet he would have wished to have seen it. A nation united, One Singapore. Only in his death did our songs ring true.
I wish we could all remember this sentiment, his love for the nation that we must carry on. I wish we can continue to make him proud. The tears should not be shed in vain for they are rare - we Singaporeans are typically a stoic bunch.