V-J Day (or VJ Day) means Victory over Japan Day – the day Japan surrendered, ending World War II.
The Japanese surrender came on the heels of two atomic bombs being dropped – the first on Hiroshima (August 6th) and the second on Nagasaki (August 9th).
You might also see V-P Day which stands for Victory in the Pacific Day. Keep in mind that the fighting in Europe had already ended when Germany surrendered to the US and her Allies in May of that year (V-E Day – Victory in Europe Day).
V-J Day might be celebrated on August 14th or August 15th or even September 2nd. The reason for this is that Japan informally surrendered on August 15th but it was August 14th in the US. The formal surrender was on September 2, 1945 aboard the battleship USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.
The United States had been involved in fierce fighting in Europe and the Pacific for nearly four years. When at last the Japanese surrendered, there was great reason for celebration.
At the formal surrender, the Supreme Allied Commander, General Douglas MacArthur, conducted the ceremony on behalf of the Allies. In part he stated:
“It is my earnest hope and indeed the hope of all mankind that from this solemn occasion a better world shall emerge out of the blood and carnage of the past – a world founded upon faith and understanding – a world dedicated to the dignity of man and the fulfillment of his most cherished wish – for freedom, tolerance, and justice.”
He also addressed the American public in a broadcast, stating in part:
“My fellow countrymen, today the guns are silent. A great tragedy has ended. A great victory has been won. The skies no longer rain death – the seas bear only commerce – men everywhere walk upright in the sunlight. The entire world is quietly at peace. The holy mission has been completed, and in reporting this to you, the people, I speak for the thousands of silent lips, forever stilled among the jungles and the beaches and in the deep waters of the Pacific which marked the way. I speak for the unnamed brave millions homeward bound to take up the challenge of that future which they did so much to salvage from the brink of disaster.”
Quotes Source: http://books.google.com/books?id=F-
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