Borinqueneers Gold Medal Ceremony Set for April 13th
March 18, 2016 -
House Speaker Paul Ryan has announced that on Wednesday, April 13, 2016 at 3:00PM, a ceremony will take place in Emancipation Hall in the U.S. Capitol to award the Congressional Gold Medal to the 65th Infantry Regiment known as the Borinqueneers. On June 10, 2014, the President signed into law bipartisan, bicameral legislation introduced by U.S. Representative Bill Posey (R-FL) and Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi (D-PR) to formally recognize the service and sacrifices made by these brave American soldiers by presenting them with the highest civilian award that Congress can bestow.
“This is a historic occasion, and I would like to express my gratitude to the soldiers of the 65th Infantry Regiment known as the Borinqueneers for their service and the great sacrifices they have made for our nation and the cause of freedom,” said Representative Posey.
“The ceremony on April 13th will be extraordinarily significant and emotionally moving because Congress—on behalf of a grateful nation—will formally recognize the surviving soldiers of the 65th Infantry Regiment and honor the memory of those members of the unit who have passed away. The Borinqueneers are a source of tremendous pride for the U.S. citizens of Puerto Rico. They personify the qualities of courage, hard work, resilience, brotherhood, and patriotism. I am so glad that, with the help of many people inside and outside of Congress, especially Congressman Posey, we were able to get this bill passed,” said Pierluisi, who represents Puerto Rico in the U.S. House.
The 65th Infantry Regiment was created by Congress in 1898 as an all-Puerto Rican segregated unit and was called upon to serve our nation in World War I, World War II, and the Korean War, where they fought some of the fiercest battles to date and became known as the Borinqueneers. During the now-famous Battle of Chosin Reservoir during the Korean War, the Borinqueneers fought alongside the First Marine Division, covering them through what is recognized as one of the greatest strategic withdrawals in military history.
As a unit, they earned a Presidential Unit Citation, a Meritorious Unit Commendation, and two Republic of Korea Unit Citations, including personal praise from General MacArthur when they were called to the front lines of the Korean War. Individuals within the regiment were also awarded the Medal of Honor, the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star, and the Bronze Star.