House Vote to Give Congressional Gold Medal to Puerto Rican Unit

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The U.S. House honored the highly decorated 65th Infantry Regiment of the U.S. Army, known as the “Borinqueneers,” with the Congressional Gold Medal on Monday.

The regiment was largely made up of Puerto Rican soldiers who adopted the original name of the island, Borinquen, and fought in World War I, World War II and the Korean War. The medal is one of the nation's highest civilian honors.

“Since the term was first used over 60 years ago, coined by the regiment on the way to Korea, it has become synonymous with honor, courage, redemption and pride,” said Pedro R. Pierluisi, Puerto Rico’s resident commissioner in Congress. The measure was sponsored by Rep. Bill Posey, R-Fla., and co-authored by Pierluisi.

Democratic New York Rep. José Serrano, who is Puerto Rican, lauded the passage of the measure on a voice vote as an important step honoring an Army unit “that helped the larger public to understand the need for equality for all citizens.