Victory Over Japan Day

August 14, 2006

I just recently learned that today is a holiday. Victory Over Japan Day.

"Where?" one might you ask.

The Philippines?



No. I'll give you a hint. It's one of the fifty states.

Well then it must be Hawaii. Maybe California. Right?

Wrong again. Give up?

How about this: Rhode Island.

Yes, that's right. Bankers and government workers in Rhode Island will spend today sailing, or playing polo, or practicing tying their ascots, or whatever it is that Rhode Islanders do for fun.

I never paid much attention to my history, but I don't remember Rhode Island being prominently featured in the battles of the Pacific Theater. Since this is a blog rather than journalism, I'm not going to do the research, but I'm going to guess that for every Rhode Islander killed by the Japanese in WWII, there were at least a few hundred Californians.

Perhaps the early colony of Rhode Island had their own war against Japan. But considering that there is no way to get from Rhode Island to Japan without traversing at least one continent and one ocean, it's hard to imagine how that could be possible. Or how they could have irritated each other that much.

One more odd thing that I notice. Japan does not have the word "Island" in its name, but it is actually an island nation. Rhode "Island" is just as connected to North America as Nebraska is.

Happy Victory Over Japan Day.