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Man crying at NDP says his outpouring of emotion was his ‘thank you’ & appreciation to all who contributed during Covid-19

The Independent logo The Independent 10/8/2022 Anna Maria Romero
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Perhaps the most enduring image of National Day 2022 is that of a man moved to tears during the NDP.

No less than Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong posted a photo of the upturned face of Mr Azuan Tan with tears streaming on his Facebook and Instagram accounts, calling it “one of the iconic images of #NDP2022.”

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“It has been a challenging 2+ years – and for many of us, an emotional one,” Mr Wong wrote, and judging from the number of Singaporeans who attended the live events after two years of muted celebrations because of the Covid-19 pandemic, many agreed with the Minister.

As these things go, footage and photos of Mr Tan’s emotional moment went viral online, spawning memes in their wake, including one that said “find someone that cares for you as much as this man cares for Singapore.”

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Friends of Mr Tan started tagging him on social media, and information about the 41-year-old teacher at Bedok View Secondary School quickly spread.

Commenting on DPM Wong’s post, MP Sharael Taha (PAP-Pasir Ris East) wrote that Mr Tan is also “a passionate volunteer always assisting the families at the rental blocks” and a community leader.

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Mr Sharael also told The Straits Times, “Since the pandemic, he has been very actively distributing meals to needy families.

In addition, he has been distributing masks and care packs to families who contracted Covid-19. He’s a passionate volunteer, the epitome of community coming together.”

However, as it turned out, Mr Tan’s family did not even know he was crying while singing Majulah Singapura.

His wife and children attended the NDP with him for the first time, but were unaware he had been in tears, he told ST.

They realized the depth of his emotion when they saw the images online.

“I express my emotion and gratitude every National Day, but none were quite as public as this one,” said Mr Tan.

He also said that the tears were an “outpouring of emotion” that was his “’thank you’ and sincere appreciation to everybody” who had served selflessly during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I really didn’t think I should be getting the attention for it. I’m shocked and surprised. In comparison, the people working hard to put the parade together deserve the attention more than I do,” ST quotes him as saying. /TISG

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