Japan's surrender, which marked the end of World War II, technically came on Aug. 15, 1945. But due to the time difference, which spans the international date line, word came to the United States on Aug. 14. Thus, that day (today) is celebrated as V-J Day. Several organizations are planning tribute events for this weekend.
The National World War II Museum in New Orleans will hold a public commemoration and remembrance ceremony, with remarks; a performance by the old-school singing group the Victory Belles at the museum's Stage Door Canteen; and a Times Square kissing contest, where couples can re-create with costumes and poses the iconic photograph taken in New York City in 1945, featuring nurse Edith Shain (who died at 91 on June 20). Visit the museum's Web site for more information.
The USS Hornet, a decommissioned aircraft carrier now moored as a museum in Alameda, Calif., will hold a Living Ship Day, with speakers, demonstrations and insight into the ship's contributions to World War II. A previous incarnation of Hornet participated in the Doolittle Raid and the Battle of Midway. It was struck and sunk in 1942, and a new ship was hurriedly renamed Hornet and rode out the war. Visit the museum's site for more information.
Taps Across America, part of a national campaign called "Keep the Spirit of ‘45 Alive" - which seeks to renew remembrance and celebration of the spirit of V-J Day, and the sacrifices that led up to it, in the United States throughout 2010 - is arranging for taps to be played at 7 p.m. in each time zone. Individual musicians are encouraged to join in from their porches. You can find more information here. "Spirit" is also holding an event in Times Square, in conjunction with the Times Square Alliance. The organization's Web site features numerous listings of local events marking V-J Day. Such events are becoming rarer with the passage of time and the deaths of World War II veterans, however. Local parades remain in only a few small towns, such as Moosup, Conn., and Seymour, Ind. If your town does not mark V-J Day in any way, perhaps the local Legion post is best equipped to do so.