The ‘Borinqueneers', or Puerto Rican veterans, have an official day of celebration
Congress declared April 13th as National Borinqueneers Day, in recognition of the "courage, service and sacrifice" of the 65th Infantry Regiment.
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On the last Friday of the year, the U.S. Congress approved by an overwhelming majority the annual military policy bill, in a 81 to 13 vote, annulling for the first time a presidential veto, and in the prelude of Donald Trump’s exit from government.
Former House Speaker Paul Ryan was in charge of presenting the Congressional Gold Medal award to the Borinqueneers on April 13, 2016, after their contribution to the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iran.
The decision to designate this same date in a symbolic manner is a way of asking for forgiveness and reconciliation with the "Borinqueneers." Ryan said that this distinction honors a military unit that was segregated and discriminated against during its years of service.
Referring to the pre-colonial name of the Island, Boriquén, the 65th Infantry Regiment pays homage to its roots.
Puerto Rican (and Hispanic) war veterans have played a key role in U.S. military life in World War I and II, as well as in the Korean War. The Congress’ decision is intended "to pay tribute to the sacrifices made and the hardships overcome by Puerto Rican and Hispanic members of the military service; and to recognize the significant contributions to U.S. history made by the "Borinqueneers," according to the document.
Puerto Rican Representative Jenniffer Gonzalez, who has actively led this campaign along with Florida Senator Rick Scott, celebrated the decision on Twitter.
Con el voto del Senado federal para sobreponerse al veto del presidente a la Ley de Defensa, ya es Ley nuestra legislación para designar el 13 de abril como el Día Nacional de los Borinqueneers!!!!! pic.twitter.com/61hAg24EYs— Jenniffer González (@Jenniffer2012) January 1, 2021
The measure is in recognition of the veterans, as well as the sacrifice of their families to defend the United States. However, it also recognizes the contribution of the Hispanic community in building the country’s foundations.