Over the past few years, Rhode Island has been criticized for still celebrating Victory Day. In case you don’t know the second Monday of August is a holiday in the Ocean State. It is currently the only state that still recognizes and celebrates Victory Day. As a result most offices and businesses are closed.
In past years, I never really thought much of the holiday. However, as the digital marketer, I decided I should post something about the holiday on our Facebook page to announce that our office will be closed. I will admit that it has been a few years since my high school United States History class, so I had to refresh my memory of the dates and events of WWII. I was confused because a lot of websites state that WWII ended in May 1945. So why was Victory Day celebrated in August? I read on and discovered that Germany surrendered from WWII in May 1945; however the war continued for the Allied forces in the Far East until they surrendered on Victory Day, August 14, 1945. That is why we celebrate Victory Day.
The more I read the more I discovered that I was not the only one to be confused about this. In fact many Americans have limited knowledge of the World War II that was fought in Asia. It seems that the focus is always on Germany. A Lieutenant fighting in Burma actually told his troops, “When you go home don’t worry about what to tell your loved ones and friends about service in Asia. No one will know where you were, or what it is, if you do. You are, and will remain ‘The Forgotten Army.”
It is strange that people think that celebrating Victory day, is offensive because of the use of Nuclear Weapons to end the war. War in general is offensive. We must remember history or else we will repeat it. We are not celebrating casualties; we are celebrating the end to the deadliest war the world has ever seen. We are celebrating our success in keeping the United States safe from people that hurt us. We celebrate the soldiers who fought so bravely to protect our Freedoms, even if they are part of a forgotten army. We celebrate America. And that is why I will be celebrating Victory Day!
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