September 2nd VJ Day

September 2nd, 1945 Japan made it’s formal surrender to the Allied powers aboard the USS Missouri battleship in Tokyo Harbor officially ending World War 2. Though there were other days involved with the surrender, the day Japan offered to surrender, the day the press learned the Japanese were surrendering and this official date VJ Day was declared by President Harry Truman on September 2nd. While it was not the end of suffering from those elements fighting World War 2 it was the beginning of the healing. Though they are only rumors, there have been reports of Japanese forces on remote islands not learning of the surrender even into the 1970’s.

August 14th V-J Day

Germany had already surrender during World War 2 but Japan did not concede until a few months later after the allies brought the full weight of their power to the venture. Japan actually surrendered on August 14th, 1945 but it was not released to the press until August 15th so many people celebrate August 15th as V-J Day. The formal surrender was received on the the USS Missouri on September 2nd, 1945 closing out the end of one of the darkness times of humanities history.

How to celebrate – Remember those who gave their lives for freedom. Read about the war with Japan. See if you had any family members who fought against Japan.

July 24th Amelia Earhart Day

The world’s most celebrated female pilot disappeared on July 2nd, 1937 while on a flight around the world. She was in the Pacific, surrounded by clouds, looking for an island when last heard from. Born on July 24th, 1897 Earhart met every challenge in her life head on and did her best to conquer it , sometimes being a lady (As imagined in those days) but normally not as the world would have approved of. But one does not become a legend by doing what society asks of them. After a 250,000 mile search for her plane the hunt was given up and to this day it is not known exactly what happened or where she crashed.

How to celebrate – Read more about Amelia Earhart. Try to determine if she was a spy or adventurer. (Or both) Learn about other famous female pilots.

June 6th D-Day WW2

June 6th, 1944 156,000 men from Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States landed on Sword, Gold, Juno, Omaha and Utah beaches to begin reclaiming Europe from Germany. 4,000 of those men died that day, sacrificing themselves to begin the end of the Nazi empire. The landing was actually supposed to come on June 5th but bad weather prevented the landing. We honor those that died, and those that lived, in their effort to bring peace to the world.

How to celebrate – Visit Normandy in France. Read the accounts of the landings. Thank those few Veterans of World War 2 that are still alive.

April 9th Winston Churchill Day

Winston Churchill was one of the most successful politicians, and one of the least successful politicians ever to exist. He was The First Lord of the Admiralty during the horrid loss a Gallipoli during World War 1 but then came back during World War 2 as the Prime Minster of England to lead his country through those dreadful years. Today is not his birthday as one might think but the day John F. Kennedy made him an honorary citizen of the United States in 1963. His role in history will always be questioned but there is no doubt his place in history in well deserved.

How to celebrate – Read about Winston Churchill. Try and identify which of the three men in the picture is Churchill. Check out his numerous famous quotes.

December 7th Pearl Harbor Day

When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941 it drew America into the a war they had tried to avoid. Some say America knew it was coming and it is a fact they did, the problem was… I don’t think the American’s realized the strength of the attack. The American Government wanted in the war, an attack was the best way to get there. 2,400 service men and 68 civilians died, scores more were wounded. I am sure America did not welcome the loss of the Pacific Fleet. Anyway, we celebrate those killed today nearly a 100 years ago. It is a day never to be forgotten, or at least a day we should never forget.

How to celebrate – Visit Pearl Harbor. Read about the attack on Pearl Harbor. Watch one of numerous movies made about Pearl Harbor.

September 2nd VJ Day

Most people seem to think that World War 2 ended when the Germans surrender, it did not. It was not until Japan surrendered on August 14th that the actual war was over. The surrender of Japan was announced on August 15th and the official surrender came on board the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay on September 2nd, 1945. It was a long war for the US but even longer for European and Asian countries who suffered under the thumb of the Axis.

How to celebrate – Read about the war with Japan. Remember those who died trying to end the war. Visit one of the many islands retaken by the Marines during the Pacific War.

August 7th National Purple Heart Day

The “Military Order of the Purple Heart” was first awarded by George Washington in 1782, particularly for the veterans of the American Revolution who in “Any Singularly Meritorious Action” deserved one. Originally called the Military Merit Decoration, it was given to six veterans, though there may have been more that went unrecorded. It was made of purple silk cut into a heart shape with a thin edge of silver with the word merit inscribed across it.

The medal went dormant until World War 1 when 320,518 Americans were awarded the Purple Heart, now given to those who have been wounded or killed, and in some case for other special merit actions. This time the medals were awarded in the name of the President of the United States.

In 1932 a special day was set aside for those who had earned the Purple Heart but it varied from state-to-state, and city-to-city. Once again, with no wars taking place, the medal was set aside until General Douglas McArthur convinced Congress to re-designate the medal for those wounded or killed during World War 2. Another 1,076,245 were issued before the war was over. George Washington’s bust was added to the medal to give it even more meaning.

The medal has been in constant use since World War 2. 118,650 were issued during the Korean War, another 351,794 for Vietnam. Estimated numbers since then through 2010, include 607 for the Gulf War, 7,027 for Afghanistan and 35,321 in Iraq.

Since then, the Purple Heart has also been awarded to wounded animals in military service. The Purple Heart is the oldest medal in American history. The National Purple Heart Hall of Fame is in New Windsor, N.Y..

How to celebrate – Honor those who have fallen, or been wounded, in defense of America.  Visit the Hall of Fame in New Windsor. Find out if anyone in your family has ever earned a Purple Heart.

June 6th D-Day, WW II

There are somethings we should never forget and D-Day is one of them. June 6th, 1944 was the beginning of the end or World War 2 when allied troops from American, Britain and Canada landed on 5 beaches in France. The US attacked Omaha and Utah beaches, UK Gold & Sword beaches and Canada Juno beach. 156,000 men gained a foothold in Europe against Germany though it cost some 4,000 their lives. The operation was a success to some degree because the Germans were fooled, knowing the invasion was coming but thinking it would fall elsewhere. Landings had already taken place in Italy but the final blow came in France on June 6th, 1944.

How to celebrate – Remember those who paid the supreme price to retake Europe. Visit the Normandy landing areas if you go to Europe. Read and the landings and sacrifice made by the Allied soldiers.

April 29th Greenery Day

You would think that on Greenery Day we would celebrate trees or plants or maybe even Kermit the Frog but today is all about the 124th Emperor of Japan Hirohito’s birthday. Born in 1901, Hirohito served the Japanese people until his death in 1989. He lead Japan through some of it’s best, and some of it’s worst , times. His part in World War 2 will never be known for sure, though he was put on the same level as Hitler at one time he did not face the same fate that other war criminals faced. It is good he is remembered for the beautiful country Japan was before the war and after the war because the ugliness it caused during the war should never be forgotten.

How to celebrate – Visit Japan. Read about Hirohito’s involvement during World War 2 and decided his guilt or not for yourself. Spend your day gardening.