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Victory Day

Victory Day 2017 and 2018

Victory Day, or VJ Day, marks the anniversary of Japan’s surrender to the allies during WWII.

YearDateDayHolidayStates
201714 AugMonVictory Day RI
201813 AugMonVictory Day RI

Although Japan’s formal surrender did not occur until September 9, 1945, the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima on August 6 and on Nagasaki on August 9, 1945 effectively ended the war then. Rhode Island officially declared Victory Day a state holiday.

While other states eventually rescinded the holiday, Rhode Island has been a stalwart in preserving the tradition of celebrating Victory Day. Critics point out that Japan is now our ally and good trading partner. They say that Rhode Island is insensitive and politically incorrect. Other’s point out many Americans lost their lives fighting a war to preserve American freedom after a dastardly attack at Pearl Harbor. Others simply want the day off. Whatever the reason and wherever sympathies lie, the end of any war is worth celebrating. VJ Day in Rhode Island is here to stay.

VJ Day is a legal state holiday in Rhode Island. Schools, libraries and municipal offices are closed. Many people take a long weekend. Veterans march in parades with Old Glory flying. Kids and old folks cheer.

On Victory Day weekend in Rhode Island, families go camping; fishing tournaments are held at area lakes; arts and crafts fairs line the main streets of local towns and villages. It is hard to tell the difference between a VJ Day celebration and a 4th of July celebration, except for the date. As one Rhode Island resident responded to critics, “We still celebrate July 4th, and we are friends with England, so why not VJ Day.”