WESTERLY — Local veterans will gather Monday at noon at the Westerly War Memorial for a ceremony to commemorate Victory Day.
The event was organized by the Westerly Veterans War Memorial Committee. Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 8955, the Disabled American Veterans Josiah F. Bradford Chapter, and Project Outreach, an organization dedicated to helping veterans obtain benefits and other services will all be on hand. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend. After the ceremonial program veterans will encourage a dialogue.
"If anyone has any questions we'll try our best to answer them," said Walter Kimball, one of the organizers.
Alexis Ann, who will serve as mistress of ceremonies, will lead the audience through the Pledge of Allegiance and a discussion on the history of the war memorial and the day of observance. Victory Day is observed to mark the anniversary of Japan's surrender in World War II on Aug. 14, 1945.
"We want people to know what happened and what has transpired since then," Kimball said.
For many years Victory Day was observed nationwide but Rhode Island is now the only state to recognize the day as a holiday. It is observed in Rhode Island each year on the second Monday of August and was originally called Victory Over Japan or VJ Day.
In 1990, the state General Assembly sought to clarify the meaning of the holiday and passed a resolution affirming that, though the holiday would continue, it was “not a day to express satisfaction in the destruction and death caused by nuclear bombs at Hiroshima and Nagasaki.”
This article was edited at 3:08 p.m. on Aug. 12, 2019 to give proper credit for organizing the event