War Memorial Park, Singapore
|War Memorial Park|
War Memorial Park
|Area||1.4 hectares (14,000 m2)|
|Managed by||National Parks Board|
War Memorial Park is a park in Singapore, located along Beach Road in the Downtown Core of Singapore's Central Region. The Civilian War Memorial is located at the center of the park as a memorial to civilians who died in Singapore during World War II. It is managed by the National Parks Board.
During the Sook Ching massacre that occurred in Singapore during World War II, mass war graves were dug to contain the bodies of civilians who were killed by the Japanese. When the bodies were unearthed in 1962 in various places, the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI) decided to gather the remains and create a memorial for them. The then Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew set aside a plot of land at Beach Road for the building of the memorial and the War Memorial Park was created.
On 15 June 1963, in a monumental ceremony attended by VIPs, inter-religious organisations, community leaders and many others, the then Prime Minister officiated at the launch of the Civilian War Memorial project ceremony. The project was completed and the monument was unveiled on 15 February 1967 in conjunction with the 25th anniversary of the Fall of Singapore.
The monument was named the Civilian War Memorial but was affectionately known as the "Chopsticks" memorial with reference to its design. With four pillars each with a height of about 67 metres, the monument resembles two pairs of chopsticks. The design of the four pillars bears a significant meaning - they symbolise the four main races of people living in Singapore. Words were inscribed on the base of the memorial. In four languages, English, Mandarin, Malay and Tamil, the words read: Memorial to the Civilian Victims of the Japanese Occupation 1942-1945.
The 1.4-hectare park has open lawns with Gnetum gnemon (Melinjo) trees covering the walkway leading up to the memorial from the four corners of the park. A pond is located around the memorial. The park with the Civilian War Memorial is a popular sightseeing venue.
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