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.

[Johnston town offices for the day.]

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.”

Peter A. Filippi III August 11, 2012 at 05:29 PM
As for the “nature of the war’s ending” we spared the lives of tens of thousands of American soldiers because of a self destructive cultural mindset. As for the critics who would argue the insensitivity factor I guess they never heard of the “Bataan Death March” in which approximately 19,000 POW’s died including hundreds who were beheaded. Anyone who fell behind complained or even looked at a Japanese soldier the wrong way was bayoneted or shot. Some prisoners were shot for stopping to fill their canteens at a road-side ditch in which the oxen drank from. I hope the readers will remember these facts the next time some tax and spend liberal government labor union loyalist complains about “Victory Over Japan Memorial Day”, Proud Republican Mayoral Candidate Peter A. Filippi III
Rhodeworrier August 12, 2012 at 09:22 PM
As usual The Mayoral candidate starts off making sense.Then the last sentences go away from the Subject to adress his personnel dislikes. Mr.Filippi do you realy think that any goverment or union member is going to complain about a day off in the Summer? Give me a break!
Peter A. Filippi III August 14, 2012 at 01:58 PM
Joe, I’m glad you asked. The reality of “tax and spend liberal government labor union loyalists in reference to complaining about V J day,” the unions have aligned with the very extreme liberal element of our country; one is based on pure greed the other is based on absolute contempt for everything that made our country great. When we vote for politicians that we have little respect for out of pure self interest, knowing it is at the expense of others; you can’t separate the two. I don’t like putting down anyone but we’re broke, our children have no future, every program is going belly up and reform in this case will be from the bottom up; municipalities taking back their governments which our town would save tens of $millions annually; it‘s all in the contracts…
RS August 15, 2012 at 12:38 AM
Peter, what does any of your rambling have to do with VJ Day in RI???? Can you actually stick to a topic once without reducing it to your Mayoral campaign? Can the editors stop this????? Peter is using any opportunity to spread his rhetoric
Joseph Hutnak August 15, 2012 at 02:03 PM
Hi Peter: This is a reminder to stay on-topic. In this case, your viewpoint on government contracts does not seem to be related to how Rhode Island celebrates Victory Day — or whether the name should be changed.
Peter A. Filippi III August 15, 2012 at 02:35 PM
Long story short, when I read the headline “Should Rhode Island Change the Name of V-J Day” the thought that came to my mind was even if the legislature did the special interests; government labor union loyalists, would still vote the politicians in because of the god on the all mighty buck… I saw this topic as an opportunity to evoke awareness of we are doing to ourselves, our children and our “once great” country…
RS August 15, 2012 at 10:32 PM
Peter, are you kidding me?????? VJ day brought labor Unions to your mond instead of the sacrafice of thousands of Veterans????? Maybe you should go talk to a professional....... you have a one track mind
Peter A. Filippi III August 16, 2012 at 02:13 PM
Hi R.S., it’s too bad you take everything out of context to accommodate your conscience. If elect mayor I would see that during every election candidates would have the opportunity to express their views in a public forum in which folks like you would have the opportunity to expose them. Also, I would develop a data base in which residents would be encouraged to log on that would expose where all the money is going; scary stuff indeed... Why aren’t the council meetings televised? Why aren’t the contracts negotiated in a public forum or readily made known?? R.S., I appreciate your fortitude. Why don’t you join my team and I would promise you that I will keep my personal beliefs to myself and we can work together highlighting where all the money is going as we would examine all the costly provisions and how the pensions are determined etc…? Your friend, Peter A. Filippi III
RS August 16, 2012 at 08:56 PM
Peter, I never said to keep your personal beliefs to yourself. It's your right to express them. I just get sensitive when anything to do with honoring our veterans turns into a political debate. I believe they earned the right to have a day to honor them. There's plenty of time for politicing.
Peter A. Filippi III August 17, 2012 at 01:03 PM
I understand your sentiment but again, when I hear people complain about programs, policy’s and laws that do not serve in the best interests of all the people yet continue to support the same politicians, based on their self interests, it’s indeed an affront to every American who sacrificed their all an all… Any politician who would have the audacity to even consider changing the name should be voted out which isn’t the reality I’m sorry to say…


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