Educator, 45, taking part in his 28th NDP this year
He remembers being in the audience when he was six, cheering his uncle on as he marched during the National Day Parade (NDP).
Since then, Mr Anthony Lee, now 45, has aspired to be as cool.
The information technology educator has participated in 27 NDPs, from taking part in the marching contingent to being a performer.
Mr Lee told The New Paper his first NDP was in Secondary 2, when he was in his school's National Police Cadet Corps.
He said: "I was honoured, because I was the only one from my school, and there were so many people cheering in the audience. It was like I fulfilled my childhood dream."
This year will be Mr Lee's 28th time taking part in the NDP, and he will be in the marching contingent for One Team Singapore.
The theme for this year's NDP is #OneNationTogether, a rallying call for Singaporeans to stand together and overcome all odds.
Mr Lee said this year's celebration includes the NS50 tribute, where each contingent has its own giant flag to unfold during the parade, to salute NSmen.
Mr Lee recounted that in 2002, while he was on his way to the National Stadium, he received a call informing him that his aunt had died from breast cancer.
He said: "I had tears in my eyes, but I told myself I had to be strong. If I had given up, it would have affected my whole contingent."
He also met his now girlfriend while performing with the People's Association in 2011. They have taken part in every NDP since.
Mr Lee said that once the year's NDP is over, he would get withdrawal symptoms. So, he finds ways to take part in the NDPs with the People's Association, Sport Singapore, Youth Bank and Young NTUC.
He said: "I will participate until I cannot walk. Maybe even then I will carry a stick to walk. But as long as I have the energy and courage, I will continue to participate because of my passion."