Sunday, October 10, 2010

Forgetting Missouri

What happened to V-J day? Although this August 15th was 65th anniverisary of the end of World War II, specifically the end of the Pacific War, neither the White House nor the US Congress acknowledged this historic moment.

Every other national government involved in the Pacific War issued a memorial statement. In the UK, the Prince of Wales and the Prime Minister participated in ceremonies. The United States stood out by its silence.

Rhode Island did hold its annual parade. It is the last to celebrate V-J Day as a state hoiiday.

On August 15th, the US State Department did issue (as that is the day, a Sunday, the press release appeared in my inbox) a congratulations to the Republic of Indonesia on its 65th Independence Day, which is August 17th.

Indonesia's Proclamation of Independence (Proklamasi Kemerdekaan Indonesia or simply Proklamasi) was issued August 17, 1945, two days after the end of the Pacific War. The declaration marked the start of the diplomatic and armed-resistance of the Indonesian National Revolution, fighting against the forces of the Netherlands until the latter officially acknowledged Indonesia's independence in 1949.

Many of Washington’s Asian allies consider August 15th a day of national liberation. I suspect, however, none of them expected the United States to buy into the notion that the Japanese occupation and its war helped liberatate them from colonalization. Nor did they think Washington would ignore the great Allied victory that did allow their liberation.

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