Monday, August 2, 2010
NDP 2010: Letter to all 12,000 NDP participants
Singapore Artillery gunners had fired the last round for the Presidential Gun Salute and were getting ready to stand down for the day.
As they got ready to move out from the War Memorial Park, envelopes were handed out to the gunners. A single, crisp sheet of paper was extracted from each envelope and smiles broke out all round.
Officers and men from Charlie Battery, 20 Battalion Singapore Artillery (20 SA), had just read the letter from Colonel Benedict Lim, the chairman of the National Day Parade 2010 Executive Committee (NDP 2010 EXCO).
Each letter was unique, addressed to each serviceman by COL Benedict and signed off individually. Not a computer-generated facsimile.
"Wow, looks like he signed 12,000 letters," said a 20 SA gunner as the gunners compared letters like students comparing exam results.
Here's Corporal Louis with his letter.
The letter brought a heart-warming touch to the 20 SA gunners, who had been perfecting the Presidential Gun Salute these past months - just as all NDP participants have been doing their part too.
To see C Battery at Combined Rehearsal 2, please click here.
Compare their performance at the NDP Preview, where the 25-pounders are fired. Please click here.[The battery RSM seems to have done away with the clipboard recording the rounds fired.]
It must have been quite a feat for COL Benedict to ink more than 12,000 letters AND address each NDP participant by name. His personal touch was made at a time when there was no let up in the Armour Formation's work schedule. Even with NDP on the horizon, large-scale war games are planned for later this year and Armour battalions have been busy operationalising Leopard 2A4 main battle tanks.
Issuing the letter in the days leading up to Singapore's 45th Birthday will no doubt bolster morale of all participants. Every NDP participant should receive his or her letter this week.
It is instructive to see that as the NDP 2010 machinery moves from raw concepts to rehearsals to the actual event, attention has been given to strengthening the resolve of participants to give their best.
Having seen them perform from CR1, I've little doubt the NDP 2010 team will deliver - and deliver with style.
Here's what COL Benedict said to all NDP participants:
Dear (hand-written name of participant),
12,000 STARS, BUT EVERY STAR COUNTS
I hope that this letter finds you and your family well.
Participating in the National Day Parade is an emotionally uplifting experience for many because once a year, we celebrate our achievements and reinforce social cohesion in a meaningful and fun way.
This year’s NDP will be put together by a 12,000-strong contingent of organisers, participants and support staff. We have toiled for months on end to perfect our moves, our steps, our songs, our drills, our positions, just so that we can deliver the best NDP the nation has ever experienced. The electrifying mood that is created at each combined rehearsal grows in strength. Each combined rehearsal also sees us becoming more confident.
On 9th August, our 12,000-strong team will work to bring the most spectacular parade and show to the nation. I urge all to give of our best so that we will all be proud to be part of this NDP 2010 journey.
On behalf of NDP 2010 EXCO, I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation for your commitment and attitude. Because of everyone’s quest to do our best, there will be 12,000 stars on show.
So get ready for THE NDP 2010 – brought to you by 12,000 stars!
“Live Our Dreams, Fly Our Flag”.
COL BENEDICT LIM
Chief Armour Officer/Comd 25 Div/
Chairman EXCO NDP 2010
Posted by David Boey at 7:25 PM