Puerto Rican Military Will Now Celebrate National Borinqueneers Day
April 13 will now be a holiday to honor the National Day of Borinqueneers.
With the recent approval of the National Defense Authorization Act, Puerto Rican military veterans known as the Borinqueneers are now getting their own national day. "With the vote of the U.S. Senate to override the veto of the President to the National Defense Authorization Act, our legislation is already Law to designate April 13 as National Day of Borinqueneers!!!!!" tweeted Representative Jenniffer González, who is Puerto Rico's non-voting member of Congress.
González, who is a Republican, led an effort in the House alongside Democratic Representative Stephanie Murphy to commemorate the Borinqueneers with a national day.
According to the law, April 13 will be the date known as National Day of Borinqueneers, and "recognizes the bravery, service, and sacrifice" of the 65th Infantry Regiment, a U.S. Army unit that consisted mostly of Puerto Rican soldiers who fought in both World Wars and in Korea. The regiment had the name Borinqueneers, in reference to Puerto Rico's precolonial name Borinquen. April 13 also marks the day that the members of the Borinqueneers received the Congressional Gold Medal in 2016.
"Throughout their service, they suffered persistent discrimination," said former House Speaker Paul Ryan when he presented the honor to three Borinqueneers at the ceremony. "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."
National Borinqueneers Day will also "pay tribute to the sacrifices made and adversities overcome by Puerto Rican and Hispanic members of the Armed Forces" and "recognize the significant contributions to the United States history made by the Borinqueneers."