War Memorial Park

War Memorial Park

World War II was one of the darkest periods in human history, and its impact was felt all around the world. singapore, a small island nation in Southeast Asia, was not exempted from the horrors and consequences of this global tragedy. During the Japanese Occupation of Singapore, which lasted from 15 February 1942 to 12 September 1945, it is estimated that more than 50,000 people lost their lives.

The Civilian War Memorial, located east of the Padang on Beach Road, stands as a solemn reminder of the civilian victims of World War II and the unity of Singapore’s four main races – Malay, Chinese, Indian, and Eurasian. This memorial was unveiled by former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew on 15 February 1967, exactly 25 years after Singapore fell to Japanese forces. In recognition of its historical significance, the Civilian War Memorial was gazetted as a national monument in 2013.

At the heart of this serene park are four pillars that rise tall above 65 metres. These pillars, of similar size and structure, symbolize the shared suffering of Singapore’s main ethnic groups as well as those who lost their lives and were buried in the mass graves found in several locations around the island. The Civilian War Memorial serves as a powerful reminder of the sacrifices made by ordinary civilians during the war.

The significance of the Civilian War Memorial may be lost on younger Singaporeans today, who fondly refer to it as “The Chopsticks”. However, it is important to delve into its history and understand the purpose behind its construction. The memorial was built after mass graves of civilian war victims were discovered in various parts of Singapore in 1962. One of the most notable locations was Siglap’s Valley of Death, where more than 40 mass graves were found. The Civilian War Memorial was constructed over a burial chamber that contains the exhumed remains from these mass graves.

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Every year on 15 February, a memorial service is held at the Civilian War Memorial to honor and remember the victims of the war. This solemn event serves as a reminder of the sacrifices made by countless individuals and the resilience of the Singaporean people during one of the darkest periods in their history.

The significance of the Civilian War Memorial goes beyond its physical structure. It serves as a symbol of unity and resilience, representing the strength of the Singaporean people in the face of adversity. The fact that the memorial incorporates elements from Singapore’s four main ethnic groups – Malay, Chinese, Indian, and Eurasian – highlights the importance of diversity and harmony in the nation’s history.

The Civilian War Memorial stands in stark contrast to the modern skyscrapers that surround it in Singapore’s Central Business District. This contrast serves as a powerful reminder of the city-state’s journey from a war-torn nation to a thriving metropolis. It is a testament to the resilience and determination of the Singaporean people to rebuild and move forward from the tragedies of the past.

Visiting the Civilian War Memorial is not only a way to pay respects to the victims of World War II, but also an opportunity to reflect on the importance of peace and unity in today’s world. It serves as a reminder that the horrors of war should never be forgotten and that all nations should strive for peace and understanding.

In conclusion, the Civilian War Memorial in Singapore is a powerful symbol of the sacrifices made by ordinary civilians during World War II. Its four pillars represent the unity of Singapore’s main ethnic groups and serve as a reminder of the shared suffering endured during the war. The memorial stands as a testament to the resilience and determination of the Singaporean people to rebuild and move forward from the tragedies of the past. Visiting the Civilian War Memorial is not only a way to honor the victims of the war, but also an opportunity to reflect on the importance of peace and unity in today’s world. It serves as a solemn reminder that the horrors of war should never be forgotten and that all nations should strive for peace and understanding.

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Address And Location:


Bras Basah Road and Beach Road intersection, Singapore 189701

  • Operating Hours

    Daily 


  • Bras Basah Road and Beach Road intersection, Singapore 189701

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