Tens of thousands of mourners braved torrential rain, howitzers fired a 21-gun salute and jet fighters screamed across the sky Sunday as Singapore staged a grand funeral for its founding leader Lee Kuan Yew. "The light that has guided us all this years has been extinguished," his son, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, said in a state funeral at the National University of Singapore attended by Asia-Pacific leaders. Lee's coffin, draped in the red-and-white national flag and protected by a glass case atop a two-wheeled gun carriage, was earlier taken in a procession from parliament pulled by a ceremonial Land Rover as a rain-soaked crowd chanted his name. He kept the position for 31 years, ruling with an iron fist to transform Singapore from a sleepy British colonial outpost into a gleaming metropolis that now enjoys one of the world's highest standards of living.
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SINGAPORE (AP) — Singaporeans bid farewell to longtime leader Lee Kuan Yew with an elaborate procession Sunday and a three-hour state funeral where his son, the current prime minister, eulogized the statesman and declared that the wealthy Southeast Asian city state he helped build is his monument. Tens of thousands of people undeterred by heavy rains lined a 15 kilometer (9 mile) route through the city to catch a glimpse of the funeral cortege. Lee's coffin, draped in Singapore's red and white flag and protected from the downpour by a glass casing, lay atop a ceremonial gun carriage that was solemnly led past city landmarks from parliament to a cultural center where the state funeral was underway.