Borinqueneers now have their own holiday

By The Star Staff

The Borinqueneers, Puerto Rican veterans who fought in the Korean War with the 65th U.S. Army Infantry Regiment, are getting their own holiday after Congress approved the National Defense Authorization Act in a vote that overrode President Trump’s veto of the military spending bill.

Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González Colón made the announcement via Twitter on Saturday.

“With the vote of the U.S. Senate to override the President’s veto of the National Defense Authorization Act, our legislation is already Law to designate April 13 as National Day of Borinqueneers!!!!!” González Colón, Puerto Rico’s non-voting member of Congress, tweeted in Spanish on Saturday.

The designation of April 13 as National Borinqueneers Day “recognizes the bravery, service and sacrifice” of the 65th Infantry Regiment, a U.S. Army unit mostly comprising Puerto Ricans that fought in both World Wars and Korea.

National Borinqueneers Day will also “pay tribute to the sacrifices made and adversities overcome by Puerto Rican and Hispanic members of the Armed Forces” as well as “recognize the significant contributions to United States history made by the Borinqueneers,” the law reads.

April 13 marks the day on which the members of the Borinqueneers received the Congressional Gold Medal back in 2016.

“Throughout their service, they suffered persistent discrimination. For too long, their contribution to our history has been overlooked, so today, today we are setting the record straight by giving them the highest award within our possession, the Congressional Gold Medal,” said then-House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) back in 2016 when he presented the medal to the Borinqueneers, as reported by NBC News.

González Colón, a Republican, led an effort in the House with Democratic Rep. Stephanie Murphy to honor the veterans of the 65th Infantry Division with a national day. Republican Sens. Rick Scott and Marco Rubio of Florida, along with Democratic Sen. Robert Menéndez of New Jersey, worked to have a similar bill approved last year in the upper chamber.

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