Tens of thousands of Singaporeans gave founding father Lee Kuan Yew a hero’s funeral on Sunday, ending a week of mourning in the city-state he led from poverty to prosperity.
As torrential rain fell on the crowds, howitzers fired a 21-gun salute to the first Prime Minister and jet fighters screamed across the sky in a grand farewell normally reserved for a head of state.
“The light that has guided us all these years has been extinguished,” his son, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, told a state funeral attended by 2,200 people, including Asia-Pacific leaders, at the National University of Singapore.
Lee’s coffin, draped in the red-and-white national flag and protected by a glass case atop a two-wheeled gun carriage, was taken in a procession from Parliament to the university.
The former U.S. President, Bill Clinton, and Lee’s close friend and former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, South Korean President Park Geun-Hye, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and Indonesian President Joko Widodo were among the dignitaries in attendance.
Soon after Mr. Modi arrived in Singapore on Sunday morning, he lauded Lee as a “global thinker” and “among the tallest leaders of our times.”
He said India deeply valued his friendship and his support for its economic progress