Should Rhode Island Change the Name of V-J Day?

Monday is Victory Day in Rhode Island, which honors the sacrifices of soldiers who fought and were lost in World War II. Due to the devastating ending of the war, critics argue the name is insensitive to the Japanese.


Monday is a Rhode Island state holiday that marks the anniversary of the end of World War II. Victory Day, also known as Victory over Japan Day or V-J Day, honors the sacrifices soldiers of that war made for the country.

V-J Day was a nationally recognized holiday, but it has since been removed because of the nature of the war's ending, following the dropping of the atomic bomb on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima on August 6 and Nagasaki on August 9, 1945.  

Rhode Island retains the holiday in tribute to the number of sailors it lost in the Pacific front.

Rhode Island has a unique connection to the exuberant celebrations that immediately followed President Truman’s announcement to the surrender.

Middletown resident, Eighty-nine-year-old George Mendonsa, then a 22-year-old soldier, kissed a nurse he had never met on the streets of Time Square on August 14, 1945. 

The candid photo captured by Alfred Eisenstaedt became one of the most iconic photographs of the 20th century. Although 11 men and three women claimed to be the people in that photo, Mendonsa officially received credit this summer, when a book came out titled “The Kissing Soldier.”

Stephanie Caldwell August 10, 2012 at 04:34 PM
I think if there is anything to celebrate about in war, it's the end. So I think it is appropriate in that sense to continue celebrating this holiday. I also think given our developed relationship with Japan it would be respectful to change the name to acknowledge that what we are celebrating is the end of a war, not the act of war itself.
Robert August 10, 2012 at 05:09 PM
I'm sure my prospective Brother-In-Law entombed on the U.S.S Arizona would want us to continue VJ day.
Robert August 10, 2012 at 05:20 PM
He had bought a wedding ring and was supposed to come home at Christmas on leave to be married to my sister. His name is Warren J. Richardson and is on the Arizona memorial.
Jen August 10, 2012 at 06:57 PM
Jen I think it is admirable that RI is the only State to recognize the end of the war against Japan. This is much better than what we would have had to recognize if the atom bombs were not dropped. The amount of American soldier deaths would have been astronomical and the war would have continued until who knows when with enormous casualtys on both sides. My thanks to all of those American service men and women who served and perished in the war against Japan. We have nothing to be ashamed of.
MILTY August 11, 2012 at 12:46 PM
Japan attacked us and we retaliated and were victorious, so it is a "true" Victory Over Japan. Changing the name is being wishy washy ! Hurt Japan's feelings ??? Ha, tell that to those that died protecting us.
John August 11, 2012 at 04:50 PM
Why are you Trying to change History names. Remember it was named for the end of the war . VJ DAY "if it's not broke don't fix it "
coventry voter-Jay August 17, 2012 at 06:49 PM
Victory Day is the name by state law NOT V-J day. It's WWII victory not just the war with Japan. Call it what it is "Victory Day". V-J day is the slang developed by the media and print press years ago, and it promotes controversy every year. Leave it alone its Victory Day
Realistic voter August 17, 2012 at 10:41 PM
Being a vet you would know this right??? You would lay down your life for your country right??? LMAO Yea right!!


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