He also cautioned that the COVID-19 crisis is far from over.
Singapore needs "unity and resilience more than ever" as the fight against COVID-19 carries on, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Aug 9.
In his National Day Message, PM Lee pointed out that many countries saw a surge in cases after easing restrictions when the virus appeared to be under control.
He cautioned that this can happen to Singapore too, despite the precautions put in place.
"It will most likely take a year or two before a vaccine is widely available and the threat of the virus is blunted. Until then, we have to maintain our vigilance and resolve to keep ourselves, our loved ones and our neighbours safe," he said, adding that "the crisis is far from over".
He added that Singapore was determined to hold the National Day Parade this year "as a symbol of our unity as a nation".
"In good years, our parades rejoice in our progress and look forward to a better future together. In difficult years, we still hold National Day Parades to renew our resolve to weather the storm and take Singapore through to better days," explained PM Lee.
This year's parade, which is themed "Together, A Stronger Singapore", is also an opportunity for the country to salute its frontliners fighting COVID-19.
"Many of them have gone way beyond the call of duty and shown great generosity of spirit," said PM Lee, who brought up examples of how retired doctors and nurses volunteered to return to work and full-time national servicemen extending their terms to support COVID-19 operations.
He also acknowledged the efforts of Singaporeans who stepped up to help those in need, such as by going door-to-door to distribute meals and groceries to the elderly and low-income households, refurbishing donated laptops for needy students and volunteering to be trained for swab operations.
"Migrant workers too played their part to support these operations. Their help was deeply appreciated by our SAF (Singapore Armed Forces), Home Team and public officers.
"These selfless acts have made all the difference to our response to COVID-19," PM Lee stated.
PM Lee also unveiled the first look of NS Square, which will replace The Float @ Marina Bay.
Visuals for the NS Square was unveiled by PM Lee on National Day.
PHOTO CREDIT: SCREENSHOT FROM LEE HSIEN LOONG'S FACEBOOK
"The platform will become a red dot, shining bright in our city. NS Square will be the central focus of our new downtown. We will build a gallery there to showcase our National Service story, and honour the contributions of national servicemen past and present," he said.
"NS Square will also be a community space for everyone, young and old, to enjoy. And of course, we will continue to hold our National Day Parades there."
NS Square was first announced in 2017. PM Lee said then that The Float @ Marina Bay would be redeveloped into a permanent space to commemorate national service and serve as the main venue for National Day Parades.
BANNER AND TEASER PHOTO CREDIT: LEE HSIEN LOONG'S FACEBOOK