Where is the Borinqueneers Congressional Gold Medal?
It had been a long awaited recognition.
The Borinqueneers, a Puerto Rican regiment of the United States Army which participated in World War I, World War II, and the Korean War, has been fighting for decades to obtain a well-merited Congressional Gold Medal.
The waiting came to an end when President Obama signed the 65th Infantry Regiment "Borinqueneers" Congressional Gold Medal legislation on June 10, 2014.
But now it seems the recognition, again, is taking too long.
This week, Sen. Marco Rubio sent a letter to President Obama “complaining about the delay, noting that in Florida alone, four of the Borinqueneers have died since the president signed the bill authorizing the medal that they’d spent most of their life awaiting,” FoxNewsLatino reported.
“The Borinqueneers fought hard for our nation and, given their age, many of them are concerned they will never see the Congressional Gold Medal,” Rubio, a Republican, wrote in a Feb. 24 letter to the president.
But according to former Marine George Perez, member of the Latin American Post 840 of the American and a Puerto Rican veteran in Philadelphia, the medal is where is supposed to be, and at the stage of the process where it should be.
“Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi and Congressman Bill Posey designated Javier Morales and Samuel Rodriguez to serve as the official Borinqueneers Gold Design Team,” Perez said. “The role of both of is to solicit design concepts for the medal from the 69th members and interested parties. They will then communicate with the Commission of the Fine Arts, the U.S. Mint and the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee.”
According to Perez, several weeks ago a report that provides background information on the Borinqueneers was delivered to the U.S. Mint, created to manufacture and distribute precious metal, collectible coins and national medals. The concept will be used for the determination of the medal.
Once the final design is selected, it will be sent to the U.S. Department of the Treasury which will then authorize the minting of the medal.
“The medal would be struck here in Philadelphia, and once this happens, it will be unveiled at a major ceremony to be held in Washington, DC.,” Perez said. “All this should take place in late 2015.”