SAF Day: A Timely Reminder Of The Importance Of Defending Home
STORY: Farhan Shafie
01 July 2020
July 1st marks SAF Day. You might have noticed a whole bunch of #HormatSAF posts and display pictures decked out in uniform on your Facebook feed today.
For those of us who have gone through NS, this brings back memories of standing in attention under the hot sun in parade or cheering on your buddies as they get that well-deserved rank promotion (some, undeservedly so). But there is a greater significance to this occasion.
What is SAF Day?
Armed Forces Day was first commemorated on 1 July 1969 with a grand parade and march-past at the Jalan Besar Stadium, two years after the introduction of mandatory National Service. In recent years, the the occasion is commemorated with a grand parade presided over by the President of Singapore and the Minister for Defence.
The parade includes the servicemen reciting the SAF pledge in which they reaffirm their loyalty and commitment to Singapore. There is then an observance of a one-minute silence to remember those who died in the course of duty. Public outreach activities such as camp “open houses”, exhibitions, selling of flags, and displays are usually held across the island as part of the celebrations as well.
This year's ceremony will be a little more low-key due to the COVID-19 pandemic, emanating from SAFTI military institute minus a parade.
While traditional highlights of the event such as the presentation of awards to the best SAF units by the defence minister and the presentation of the SAF state colours to the best combat unit are still kept, the rededication ceremonies held across the various camps will now be livestreamed instead and simultaneously aired on Facebook Live.
What does it mean today?
This special day is also set aside for the armed forces to “rededicate themselves to bear true faith and allegiance to the President and the Republic, support and defend the Constitution, stay loyal to the country, people and Government, and defend the honour and independence of the Republic of Singapore”.
In a post COVID-19 world, Minister For Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen has stressed the importance of the SAF's commitment to protect Singapore, especially the unsung heroes in the frontlines and the migrant workers who have helped build the country to what it is today.
As a show of appreciation to our servicemen and women, F&B, lifestyle, sports and fitness brands plus many more are offering amazing deals to uniformed personnel and SAFRA members. We've compiled a comprehensive list of promotions and discounts here. Thank you to everyone who has served the nation. Happy SAF Day!