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Friday, 15 February 2008

Remembering Total Defence Day

Yeah, I was one of the many who had forgotten about this day. It wasn't until I saw the scrolling TV ticker about the public siren alerts that I remembered. Shame on me... and probably 80% of the population.

Okay, 70%. The school kids were forced to remember. And some of them spent their morning at the War Memorial at Stamford Road. They had to bask unsheltered under the hot sun, away from some white tents that had been set up nearby. I guess those were meant for the VIPs. Pity the kids.

The rest of the day passed normally till 12:05pm. Right on the dot, the sirens blared. Within the air-conditioned confines of the office, we could hear the familiar wails. Some of my colleagues wondered why they were on. Was it another test of the public warning system? (BTW when was the last test??? I don't recall hearing one in the last couple of months.)

I guess I was the only one with a ready answer. It was Chinese New Year during World War 2 and after a long and treacherous battle, the invading Japanese army had succeeded in all but conquering Singapore. Which left only one course of action:

"It's the day the British sold us out."

RIP, war veterans.


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