Significant Dates in Military History

Every year we commemorate certain military engagements. Though these events do provide us with a fun excuse forĀ days off from work (if you’re lucky!), parades, junk food, music and fireworks, theĀ purpose of these occasions is to remind us all of the sacrifices made by the military and civilian populations of the era and the lessons learned.

Here are some of those dates in US Military History:

May 9, Victory in Europe Day (V-E Day)

On 9 May 1945, the World War II Allies formalized their acceptance of the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany’s armed forces, thereby bringing to a close the war in Europe.

July 4, Independence Day (Fourth of July)

On 2 July 1776 representatives of the US Continental Congress voted in favor of a proposed resolution to declare the 13 colonies’ independence from Great Britain. On 4 July 1776, the Continental Congress delegates adopted the Declaration of Independence, a document drafted by Thomas Jefferson and other committee members; the document was later signed by most of the delegates on 2 August. The war with Great Britain would continue until 1783 and formally end with the Treaty of Paris.

September 2, Victory over Japan Day (V-J Day)

On 14 August 1945 (US time) Japan announced its surrender to World War II Allies after the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima (6 August) and Nagasaki (9 August) and the Soviet Union’s declaration of war on Japan. The formal surrender documents were signed 2 September onboard the USS Missouri battleship in Tokyo Bay, thereby formally ending World War II.

December 7, Pearl Harbor Day

On 7 December 1941 Japanese carriers launched torpedo bombers, dive bombers, horizontal bombers and fighters to target US battleships and airfield/military installations on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. The attack lasted less than two hours and resulted in heavy destruction and US casualties: 2,403 dead (68 civilians); 1,178 military and civilian wounded; 21 ships sunk or damaged; 188 aircraft destroyed and 159 damaged. This attack led to the US formally declaring war upon Japan (8 December) and upon Germany (11 December); the US had now entered World War II.

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