65th Infantry Regiment to be honored today
By John McPhaul
In honor of the heroic military tradition of the Puerto Rican veteran reflected in the gallantry of the combatants of the 65th Infantry Regiment, the Veteran’s Attorney’s Office will honor their legacy in two activities to be held today, Holy Wednesday, Veterans Affairs Advocate Agustín Montañez Allman announced on Tuesday.
Allman highlighted in a written statement “the respect and admiration of our people for those who knew how to face the rigor of the battlefield in defense of our freedoms.”
The first of the activities will be at 9:30 a.m. at the Bayamón National Cemetery, and the second at 1 p.m. at the Villa Pesquera in Camuy, in conjunction with the American Legion posts in Camuy, Arecibo and Hatillo and the administration of Mayor Gabriel Hernández.
Prior to this, on Tuesday, Montañez Allman visited the facilities of the Casa del Veterano in Juana Díaz and presented an award to the three Korean veterans residing there: Arturo Martínez Torres, Adolfo Lugo Gastón and Tomás Mundo Burgos.
In July 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the designation of April 13 as “National Borinqueneers Day.”
Montañez Allman noted that Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González Colón was a pillar in that effort. Likewise, when Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia served as resident commissioner, he managed to get President Barack Obama to present the Borinqueneers with the Congressional Gold Medal.
Also a veteran decorated for his participation in the Persian Gulf War, Montañez Allman stressed that although in all armed conflicts the Puerto Rican military has set an example of conduct, discipline and courage, the combatants of the 65th Infantry have been the standard by which sacrifice and courage are measured.
The 65th Infantry Regiment was created in 1898 shortly after the Spanish-American War. More than 65,000 Puerto Ricans enlisted in the U.S. Army during World War II, and more than 61,000 served during the Korean War. For the Vietnam War, 43,000 saw action in the conflict.
Overall, and according to published data, for their role in the conflict, the Borinqueneers received a Medal of Honor, awarded to Sgt. Juan Negrón, nine Distinguished Service Crosses, 250 Silver Stars, 628 Bronze Stars and 2,771 Purple Heart medals.