Today, 29 March 2015, marks a significant and grave day for all Singaporeans.
A day that left a huge impact on the nation.
A day that would be written in the history books of future generations.
I am sure almost every single Singaporean - be it young or old- are overwhelmed with emotions on this very day.
Mixed feelings of reluctance, sadness, grief, thankfulness and so much more..
We are all here because of one man.
A man that planted the tree long ago just so we can now live comfortably under the shade.
A man that successfully -and carefully- crafted a country under his care within a generation.
And this one man is Mr. Lee Kuan Yew.
He passed away on 23 March 2015 at the age of 91.
I couldn't find any word to describe him.
Even the greatest adjective you have in mind now is an understatement.
Since my schooling days, I remembered studying about him during Social Studies. Truth to be told, I was not really interested in studying the history of Singapore then.
I just knew that Mr.Lee existed and he was a political figure - and that was it.
It was not until recently that I got to know how much more this man has given Singapore, and the bits and pieces of his life that were not read about in history books.
Man, he is amazing.
I began watching his old recorded rally speeches and interviews, with a few of them creating deep impressions on me.
I particularly love this line most, which I am sure most of you would have heard of it too:
(It was from a rally speech in 1988)
"Even from my sick bed, if you are going to lower me into the grave and I feel something is going wrong, I will get up."
You can never deny the fact that those words were so powerful.
The tone he used in almost all his rally speeches were injected with such strength and determination - so much that he will make you feel CONFIDENT and believe in him.
Although I may not know much about him, but through all the eulogies, stories and interviews I have seen, I came to realize that he is such an extraordinary man leading an ordinary life.
Despite his status, he chose to live humbly.
It's strange, but I find comfort in hearing all about how he used to lead his personal life (the life that wasn't often known by the public). It just shows how... human he was.
We, the public, know him as a political figure. A founding father of Singapore.
To his family, he was a great father, husband, grandfather, uncle and so much more.
When I listened to the Lee Hsien Yang's (his youngest son) eulogy today, I found myself smiling as I visualized how great of a father he had been to his children.
I love how Lee Hsien Yang ended his speech -It just sums up our emotions:
"We know our loss is your loss too, and that the loss is deep and keenly felt. We are humbled that so many have come forward to demonstrate your affection for, respect of and gratitude to - my extraordinary father, a father we share - with Singapore."
To read more about the eulogy, you can click here:
There's so much difference 50 years can make.
50 years ago, he mourned for the nation.
50 years after, the nation is mourning for him.
"I have no regrets. I have spent my life, so much of it, building up this country. There's nothing more that I need to do. At the end of the day, what have I got?
A successful Singapore.
What have I given up?
Thank you, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, for all your contributions towards Singapore.
(Not even a million Thank-Yous is enough to describe our thankfulness!)
Singapore will not be Singapore without you.
As much as the nation is reluctant to see you part from us, but we are sure you are in a happier place now.
It's time to lay your mind to rest.
Rest in Peace, Mr Lee.
P/S: I have drawn two tribute cartoon drawings during the 7 days of mourning. Here they are: -
(I am no professional, but I just hope to have a tribute drawing to remember him..)
If you are interested to stay updated to my latest artwork and such, do feel free to "LIKE" my page at: www.facebook.com/CJcartoons/