Sen. Toomey Joins Legislation To Honor Puerto Rican Infantry Regiment With Congressional Gold Medal U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) wants to award the Congressional Gold Medal to the renowned 65th Infantry Regiment - a segregated military unit of soldiers mostly from Puerto Rico.
PoliticalNews.me - Jul 17,2013 - Sen. Toomey Joins Legislation To Honor Puerto Rican Infantry Regiment With Congressional Gold Medal
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) wants to award the Congressional Gold Medal to the renowned 65th Infantry Regiment - a segregated military unit of soldiers mostly from Puerto Rico. The "Borinqueneers" fought in World War I, World War II and the Korean War. Sen. Toomey has cosponsored a bipartisan bill to honor the nation's only fully segregated Hispanic unit.
"The Borinqueneers were a valiant force in three major wars of the United States," said Sen. Toomey. "The unit has a proud legacy of battling America's enemies abroad while at home segregation unfortunately remained a part of American society. All Americans can be proud of this great unit."
Although President Truman had issued an executive order in 1948 abolishing racial segregation in the armed forces, the 65th Infantry Regiment served as a segregated unit for most of the Korean War. The regiment participated in some of the fiercest battles of the war, including the Battle of Chosin Reservoir.
By the end of the Korean War in 1953, members of the 65th Infantry Regiment had earned 10 Distinguished Service Crosses, approximately 250 Silver Stars, over 600 Bronze Stars, and nearly 3,000 Purple Hearts. The regiment also earned unit awards - including two Presidential Unit Citations, the nation's highest unit-level recognition, for extraordinary heroism.
"Thank you Senator Toomey for remembering and recognizing us!" said Enrique Vazquez Vega, 65th Infantry Veteran.
"We are delighted that Senator Toomey took the initiative to recognize the historical importance of the 65th Infantry Regiment. We are glad that the Senator is helping to enshrine a rich legacy in American history, especially in recognizing his Pennsylvania constituents who are veterans of the The Borinqueneers. I encourage him to rally his fellow Senate colleagues to follow suit in pursuit of the Congressional Gold Medal," said Frank Medina, National Chairman of The Borinqueneers Congressional Gold Medal Alliance.
"I want to thank Senator Toomey for his co-sponsorship of the Congressional Gold Medal bill in honor of the 65th Infantry Regiment, also known as the Borinqueneers," said Luis Fortuno, Former Governor of Puerto Rico. "Puerto Rico takes pride in honoring the heroic actions of these soldiers, who fought courageously in World War I, World War II, and the Korean War. The Congressional Gold Medal will call awareness to their bravery and make their unique sacrifice clear to each and every American."
"I commend Senator Toomey for supporting the Congressional Gold Medal Bill for the 65th Infantry Regiment in the Korean War, known as the Borinqueneers," said Juvencio Gonzalez, Chair of the Latin American Legion Post 840.
"I asked the Senator a short while ago to consider co-sponsorship and, true to his word, his office stayed in touch with me throughout the process and he was always available for additional suggestions and making this Congressional Gold Medal Bill come to fruition. The Senator's co-sponsorship of this important legislation is truly appreciated by the Puerto Rican community in