For the past six days, the entire nation of Singapore has been in mourning for the late First Prime Minister & founding father of modern Singapore - Mr Lee Kuan Yew (1923 - 2015).
He was an amazing man who had spent his entire life building Singapore from a small unknown fishing village into a world renowned city it is today.
How amazing he is?
World leaders from different countries all around the world can testify to that. Many had travelled all the way to Singapore just to pay their last respects and to attend his state funeral.
Members of the parliament, ministers and government officers and co-workers, family, friends & his loved ones can also testify to that.
He was not only the founding father of the nation, but a very loving father to his family & an extremely devoted & very loving husband to his wife, Mrs Lee.
His face has been on the cover of world magazines, books and newspapers.
Countless of international articles, reports & write-ups have been written all about him whether it be on paper or online.
TV Channels have been endlessly broadcasting about all his lifetime achievements for an entire week since he passed away on the morning of Monday, 23rd of March 2015 and I think a week is not even enough to complete broadcasting all he has done in his lifetime for the nation.
And needless to say, the united nation of Singapore knows very well of all that he had done for them.
Thousands upon thousands of them have queued for hours (rain or shine) in queues that had stretched for miles upon miles, just to take a bow or place flowers or write their condolences and pay their last respects to the great man whose body & coffin was firstly laid at the Istana, thereafter transported 2 days later to The Parliament House for the public to pay their respects.
18 tribute centres/sites have been set up islandwide for those who want to pay their respects and leave condolence wishes but were not able to do so at The Parliament House.
The transport system have been running on a 24-hour basis to enable the public to travel to either the Parliament House or tribute centres/sites to pay their last respects.
Many kind-hearted members of the public, volunteers, citizens, ministers, have been distributing necessities such as water, food, items such as umbrellas, fans, ponchos, etc. to everyone of those who have been queueing for hours upon hours just to get a chance to pay their last respects to the late First Prime Minister & founding father of the nation.
The media has been covering live footage of all the happenings going on for the entire week and there will also be live streaming of the funeral procession & state funeral later today as well, on YouTube, CNA & all Mediacorp television & radio channels.
And even as I am typing this post, hundreds and thousands of people in Singapore are still busy staying awake throughout the entire night, preparing for the funeral procession & the State Funeral which will be carried out later at noon today. In fact, they have been rehearsing since the wee hours of Friday morning.
I salute every single one of them who had worked so hard & made a difference to the nation this entire week.
Later today the late First Prime Minister & founding father of modern Singapore - Mr Lee Kuan Yew. The amazing man who had build the nation of Singapore from nothing to what it is today, will finally be laid to rest.
Even countries like India & New Zealand will be flying their flags at half mast to mark the state funeral and show respect to the great man.
The funeral procession will be a 15.4km long journey.
Singaporeans will definitely line the streets from St Andrews Road to Shenton Way, Cantonment Road to Clementi Road, to bid a final farewell to the country's founding Prime Minister.
The State Funeral Procession will commence at about 12.30pm and cover a distance of 15.4km to the University Cultural Centre at the National University of Singapore, where a Funeral Service will be held from 2pm to 5.15pm.
At about 12.30pm, the Coffin Bearer Party, comprising eight officers from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Police, will enter Parliament House and carry the casket bearing the body of Lee Kuan Yew out from the bier where it has rested since Wednesday morning. They will then place it on the Ceremonial Gun Carriage.
The Singapore Armed Forces (the Army, Navy, Air Force and Police) will bid their final farewell to Mr Lee with the highest honour & highest form of respect
The gun carriage will carry Mr Lee’s body from Parliament House, there will be a 21-gun salute fired by four ceremonial 25-pounder guns as the procession journeys around the Padang.
Four RSAF Black Knights from the Republic of Singapore Air Force will also salute Mr Lee as his body passes City Hall with a ‘Missing Man’ formation where one Black Knight breaks off.
As Mr Lee’s body crosses the Esplanade Bridge, Patrol Vessels RSS Dauntless and RSS Resilience from the Republic of Singapore Navy Force will conduct a ceremonial sailpast off the Marina Barrage as a final salute.
A black flag, traditionally used for mourning, will be flown on the starboard side of the mast of each ship, together with signals flag representing the letters “L”, “K” and “Y”. When the State Funeral Procession passes the Padang, the two ships will sound three prolonged horn blasts, lasting ten seconds each.
The Gun Carriage will then embark on a route passing several landmarks of significance. (For details & stories behind the significance of the landmarks, do check out this link: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/mobile/singapore/mr-lee-kuan-yew-s-state/1748500.html?cid=fbsg)
Members of the public can line the route from Parliament House to the UCC at NUS where the State Funeral Service will be held.
The State Funeral Service will be broadcast live on all MediaCorp TV and Radio channels, as well as streamed Live online at channelnewsasia.com and Channel NewsAsia's YouTube channel for both desktop and mobiles. The event will also be available on toggle.sg and the Toggle app.
The Singapore Civil Defence Force Public Warning System siren will be sounded twice islandwide at about 4pm to signal the start and end of a minute of silence for the late Mr Lee.
And upon the conclusion of the funeral service, the late Mr Lee will make his final journey to Mandai Crematorium. The cremation service will be private.
And then he can finally rest.
Many shops & malls islandwide have decided to close for the day and for those hours, as a mark of respect.
Later today, it will be a painful moment of finality and parting.
A nation's tears will flow..
A great man will be laid to rest..
A man whom the nation & the world describes as a man who will be like no other. Everyone knows we will not be able to find another man like him.
A man who would encourage us to continue to live life to its fullest, to take Singapore further and make the world proud of what more we can accomplish from what he had started..
Rest assure, Mr Lee. Your vision will always reside in every heart & soul of every true Singaporean.
You have ran the race, you have completed it. You saw the fruits of your years of labour. You were happy & satisfied. You fought a good fight. You fought many in your lifetime. You have won many too. Now it is time to rest. You have kept the faith & you have remained faithful.
Now it is our turn to continue to run the race & to complete ours. It is our turn to continue fighting, to fight a good fight in this life. It is our turn to keep the faith & to remain faithful till the end.
Thank you for everything, Mr Lee.
Thank you for all you've done for this nation and for us.
Thank you for setting the example of proving to us that nothing is impossible when one believes in a dream and work towards it.
Thank you for the dream you have for Singapore. It has become what it is today because you worked your entire lifetime for it.
Words ain't enough to thank you for your entire lifetime of hard work that you have put in for Singapore.
Your legacy lives on...