Cenotaph needs sprucing up

The Cenotaph at Esplanade Park.
The Cenotaph at Esplanade Park.PHOTO: ST FILE

The comment by civil servant Jane Tan on the four young men who were posing on top of The Cenotaph in Esplanade Park did not surprise me.

She had said the men "probably saw the monument as just another part of their surroundings, and not really something significant" (Four youths slammed for posing on top of war memorial in photo, Feb 26).

Indeed, the Cenotaph looks somewhat nondescript and even shabby with its old, grey stones marked with streaks of dirt and grime.

Perhaps the National Heritage Board and the National Parks Board can clean and spruce up the Cenotaph, especially the steps around it.

This memorial to soldiers who gave their lives in the service of the countries they were from could also be made much more significant if flagpoles were installed and flags of the nations were flown from them.

The monument and its flagpoles should be lit up at night too.

To enhance the look of the war memorial and, at the same time, discourage youth from skateboarding off the steps or climbing on top of it, the Cenotaph can be made less accessible with a hedge, a shallow moat or an ornate fence surrounding it.

Finally, signs or markers should be put up to explain the significance of this historical national monument to the military war dead and to urge visitors to behave in an appropriate and respectful manner when in its vicinity.

Edwin Pang

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 01, 2019, with the headline 'Cenotaph needs sprucing up'. Subscribe