SINGAPORE - Some 600 People's Association (PA) staff, grassroots leaders and volunteers gathered at the Association's headquarters on Thursday (March 17) to receive the artillery shell casing from the 21-gun salute that was fired during the State funeral procession of founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew last year.
PA's deputy chairman Chan Chun Sing and chief executive director Ang Hak Seng received the memento and put it on a shelf at the entrance of the Association's headquarters along King George's Avenue.
Mr Lee's death on March 23 last year was followed by a week-long period of national mourning.
The State funeral procession on March 29 was marked by a 21-gun salute fired at the Padang by four ceremonial 25-pounder howitzers from the Singapore Artillery's 21st Battalion.
Mr Chan, who is also labour chief, said he hopes that the memento will remind all grassroots leaders and volunteers of the PA's mission to continue to build a cohesive society, regardless of people's backgrounds and differences.
He said that it took "more than brick and mortar" and the foresight of the late Mr Lee and the pioneer generation leaders to build Singapore.
He added: "We must continue to make sure that each and every generation lives up to the ideals of our founding chairman and his leaders to bring people together as one people, one country."
Besides the PA, the recipients of the artillery shell casings include the Singapore Armed Forces, the Singapore Police Force, the Parliament, the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB), the Housing and Development Board (HDB), the National Parks Board, and PUB, Singapore's national water agency.
Individuals given the casing include Old Guard leader and former education minister Ong Pang Boon, and former senior minister of state for education and environment Sidek Saniff who delivered an eulogy at the funeral of Mr Lee.
At Thursday's ceremony, Mr Chan and guests also penned their wishes for Singapore on rocks that will be displayed at the PA headquarters.
Read Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's appreciation letter to PA below.