Why We Should Stop Celebrating Our Victory Over Japan Day
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Why We Should Stop Celebrating Our Victory Over Japan Day

It's time to progress in peace.

Why We Should Stop Celebrating  Our Victory Over Japan Day

On August 6, 1945 the United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima. On August 9th, the United States dropped a bomb on Nagasaki. On August 15, 1945, Emperor Hirohito officially announced Japan’s agreement of the Potsdam Declaration. On September 2, 1945, Japan officially signed their surrender in a meeting on the USS Missouri. President Truman declared September 2 to be the official V-J Day, “Victory over Japan Day.” Since then many states have begun to eliminate the day as a holiday in their state. The reason: it is controversial. Rhode Island is the only state in America that still celebrates this day.

The second Monday in August, Rhode Island celebrates the United States victory over Japan. Most banks are closed, along with all state offices. Many veteran groups honor the soldiers that lost their lives fighting in the war. This holiday is a hindrance for moving forward. Though it is important to remember history, this holiday is stamped with the mentality of discrimination and should be eliminated.

Just recently President Obama visited Hiroshima and expressed his sincere sorrow for the innocent lives lost in the war. It is debatable whether or not it was necessary to drop not just one atomic bomb but also two. Given the situation, there could never be a true answer to that debate. However, with the droppings of the nuclear bombs at the end of the war, Japanese citizens suffered. American lives were not the only lives lost. Though the point of the holiday is to celebrate victory and honor the soldiers that lost their lives during World War II, it has a hint of discrimination toward the Japanese, seventy-one years after Japan’s surrender. It hinders the idea of teaching our children to be advocates of peace in a world full of hatred and violence.

Though it is important to remember our history, this holiday brings up a discriminatory stance against Japan. Why is there no holiday strictly stamped as “victory over Germany” day? Why only point out the Japanese? It is a reminder of the atomic bombs we dropped on Japan causing millions to suffer, the reminder that we placed Japanese-American citizens in concentration camps. It is not a day we should be proud of. Instead, we should remember and grieve the loss of all lives lost in the war every day. In memorial, we should seek to build bridges and promote a sense of unity throughout the world.

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