NDP 2017 theme's hashtag marks a first

Bid to rally S'poreans via social media; parade to have 2-segment Dynamic Defence Display

The shape of Singapore is nestled among the four hands in the logo.
The shape of Singapore is nestled among the four hands in the logo.PHOTO: MINISTRY OF DEFENCE

National Day Parade 2017 will set the stage for a series of firsts, as well as the welcome return of crowd favourites.

For the first time, this year's theme - #OneNationTogether - will incorporate a hashtag to enable Singaporeans to share the rallying call via social media.

The theme was announced by Colonel Melvin Ong Yoke Lam, 47, who chairs the NDP 2017 executive committee, at a media conference yesterday. He said the theme is a call to action to take pride in Singapore's achievements and to be confident in its collective future as its people overcome odds together.

In another first, the Dynamic Defence Display will be organised in two segments.

The first will focus on the Singapore Armed Forces' defence capabilities through action-packed drills, while the second will focus on collective efforts by citizens and defence forces to tackle the rising threat of cyber attacks and terrorism. The Terrex Infantry Carrier Vehicles and Leopard tanks will also be part of the show.

Col Ong said: "This year's NDP celebrates our precious social unity and the racial and religious harmony we enjoy today.

"It is in this unity that we will continue to rally together as one people and one nation, against all future challenges, striving ahead towards a brave and confident future."

The theme's hashtag also resembles the NDP 2017 logo, with its four interlocking arms, that was unveiled at yesterday's conference.

Inspired by Singapore's first $10 Orchid-series note launched in 1967, the logo is in red and white and embodies Singaporeans coming together to build a better future.

The shape of the island nestled in the centre of the four hands represents the special place the nation holds in Singaporeans' hearts.

The 52nd birthday bash will see celebrations return to the Marina Bay Floating Platform after a two-year hiatus, which also means crowd favourites like the Red Lions skydivers will make a comeback.

Touted as the largest of its kind in the world, the platform was built in 2007 and can seat up to 27,000 in its grandstand, but was deemed to have staged its last NDP in 2014.

Close to 14,000 participants, volunteers and personnel will be taking part in the parade organised by Headquarters Singapore Combat Engineers and agencies from public and private sectors. Highlights include the presidential gun salute on the M3G Raft and the state flag fly-past, as well as a special tribute to 50 years of national service.

A unique use of technology will allow those at home and abroad to enjoy a live 360-degree streaming of the parade on YouTube.

The NDP show will also feature six captivating and rousing acts that celebrate Singaporean achievements and highlight how, as a nation, citizens have overcome the odds together.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 18, 2017, with the headline 'NDP 2017 theme's hashtag marks a first'. Print Edition | Subscribe