Singapore Comes to 'Near-Halt' for Funeral

Lee Kuan Yew eulogized at funeral as architect of Singapore
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Mar 29, 2015 6:44 AM CDT
Standing in a downpour, Singaporean soldiers salute as the coffin of Lee Kuan Yew passes during the funeral procession, Sunday, March 29, 2015.   (Jeanette Tan)
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(Newser) – Singaporeans today bid farewell to longtime leader Lee Kuan Yew with an elaborate procession and a three-hour state funeral where his son, the current prime minister, eulogized the statesman in one of 10 eulogies at the funeral. As Lee Hsien Loong put it: "To those who seek Mr. Lee Kuan Yew's monument, Singaporeans can reply proudly: Look around you." Reuters describes the island nation, roughly four times the size of DC, as coming to a "near-halt" today: Undeterred by heavy rain, tens of thousands of people lined a 9-mile route through the city to catch a glimpse of the funeral cortege. Lee's coffin was draped in Singapore's red and white flag and protected from the downpour by a glass casing.

Leaders and dignitaries from more than two dozen countries attended the funeral. The US delegation was led by former President Bill Clinton. Others included the prime ministers of India, Japan, and Australia. Abroad, India declared a national day of mourning and New Zealand's government was flying flags at half-staff. During a week of national mourning that began last Monday after Lee's death at age 91, some 450,000 people lined up for hours to briefly view the statesman's coffin at Parliament House. A million people visited tribute sites at community centers around the city. The expansive show of emotion is a rare event for Singapore and its 5.5 million people. Read more on Lee and his legacy here.

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