Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi announced today that U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan has formally notified the public that the ceremony to award the Congressional Gold Medal to the U.S. Army’s 65th Infantry Regiment—known as the Borinqueneers—will take place at 3:00 p.m. in Emancipation Hall in the U.S. Capitol building. Congressional proceedings will cease for the event, which will be televised and attended by hundreds of veterans and their families, members of Congress, and other military and civilian dignitaries.
Congressman Pierluisi and Congressman Bill Posey of Florida, who worked together to draft and secure House passage of the bill to award the Congressional Gold Medal to the Regiment, will speak at the event. So, too, will Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, who led the parallel effort in the U.S. Senate. Other speakers will include Speaker Ryan, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid.
The 65th Infantry Regiment consisted mainly of soldiers from Puerto Rico, and is renowned for its bravery and skill, particularly during the Korean War. The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest honor that Congress can bestow on an individual or group for outstanding achievement. Only one other Hispanic has been awarded the Congressional Gold Medal—the baseball star and humanitarian Roberto Clemente, who also hailed from Puerto Rico.
“The ceremony on April 13th will be extraordinarily significant and emotionally moving, because Congress—on behalf of a grateful nation—will formally recognize the surviving soldiers of the 65th Infantry Regiment and honor the memory of those members of the unit who have passed away. The Borinqueneers are a source of tremendous pride for the U.S. citizens of Puerto Rico. They personify the qualities of courage, hard work, resilience, brotherhood, and patriotism. I am so glad that, with the help of many people inside and outside of Congress, we were able to get this bill passed,” said Pierluisi.
“This is an historic occasion and I would like to express my gratitude to the soldiers of the 65th Infantry Regiment, known as the Borinqueneers, for their service and the great sacrifices they have made for our nation and the cause of freedom,” said Congressman Posey.
The Resident Commissioner expressed gratitude to the Borinqueneers Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony National Committee (BCGM CNC), a non-profit organization that is helping to educate the American public about the 65th Infantry Regiment and to plan for the April 13th ceremony in conjunction with congressional leaders. Pierluisi also thanked the many individuals, both in Puerto Rico and the states, who have worked tirelessly to ensure that the legacy of the Borinqueneers is understood, appreciated and honored.