#RenameVictoryDay is a poster campaign created in August 2019. I wrote a letter to elected officials, printed and distributed a series of posters with alternate names and made a bookmark size flyer to distribute with the posters. Letter is below!
Get in touch if you’d like a poster or bookmark or want to have a conversation about the project.
“I am writing to you at the height of our Rhode Island summer—hopefully you can read this while at the beach!
I have lived and worked in Rhode Island since 2006. Though I have lived here for thirteen years, I still have difficulty explaining why we take ‘Victory Day’ as a state holiday. Rhode Island has technically never celebrated ‘Victory over Japan Day’ (recognized as September 2); we instead celebrate ‘Victory Day’ (as the second Monday of August since 1966 though initially recognized on August 14). It is impossible to explain ‘Victory Day’ as a holiday. What is the victory over? What are we commemorating?
I do not intend this letter to discredit the sacrifice of those who served in World War II. Rhode Island played a critical role in the war, and the veterans who fought in the war deserve to be honored. I feel, however, that this day has become more a day to visit the beach than to remember our veterans.
My grandmother was relocated to an internment camp during World War II. Victory Day has always reminded me of this time in her life. The current political climate has intensified feelings of xenophobia; this day contributes to negative feelings of difference for myself and others.
As part of my efforts to encourage Rhode Islanders to reconsider Victory Day, I’m creating a series of posters reimagining the holiday name. Additionally, I’m making a small postcard explaining the project, and sending this letter to you and other elected officials. I know I am coming to you late in the legislative process but I hope this letter and project encourage you to start thinking about next year and August 10, 2020.
I am more than happy to meet in the upcoming weeks or talk via phone or email.”