The sonic boom from 3 F16s woke me from my siesta today and reminded that National Day is just around the corner. I went to the store room to look for the Singapore flag that was given to me 20 years ago. I hang the same flag every year outside my flat for the National Day celebrations.
The flag brings back many memories. Our young nation was born because we seek independence. The whole idea was simple - for ordinary Singaporeans to have a say in our own destiny. Nobody expected in those days that we will be so successful economically and that wasn't the reason why we fought so hard for independence.
I'm sure you have seen the images of Labanon being bombed in recent days on BBC and CNN. This country has been ravaged over and over again by various powers in that region. As the people were fleeing for safety from the southern Labanon, a young man with his family (wife and child) was asked if he will ever return, "He said of course". The reporter then asked him "Why? Everything has been destroyed.". "I will return because Labanon is my country", he replied.
This afternoon I took out my flag from the storeroom to hang outside. The flag was given to me by my father who saw our island progress from colony to nationhood, he reminded me to hang the flag every year. As I took the flag out from the storeroom and unfurled it, I noticed that the once pristine flag has somewhat faded.....especially the stars on the flag. I was just a toddler when my father ran my little fingers over those stars and told me each one represented an ideal that made this country worth dying for : democracy, peace, progress, justice and equality. My father told me each specific star that represented the ideals. The star that represented democracy seems most faded along with the one that represented equality and justice.
I decided not to hang my flag this year. I will honour Singapore with a better flag not one that is already faded.