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.”