On this Memorial Day, we honor the Borinqueneers. The 65th Infantry Regiment was composed entirely of Army soldiers from the island of Puerto Rico. For this reason they called themselves…the Borinqueneers.
They served in both World Wars, the Korean War, and the war on terror. They fought so bravely and sustained so many casualties, that they were awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 2014. And today we honor them…
The names of those killed in combat are inscribed in El Monumento de la Recordación (Monument of Remembrance), in front of the Capitol Building in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico also honored the Borinqueneers by naming one of its principal avenues in San Juan as La 65 de Infantería.
This photo was taken in Korea during the Korean War. There is something joyful yet sad about their flag. Just a few years earlier in 1948, Public Law 53 – aka the Law of the Muzzle – had been enacted in Puerto Rico.
That very flag, which they hold up with such touching pride, was made illegal by Law 53. They could go to jail for 10 years, just for owning one.
These young men had to go to war, and risk their lives, to find a place where they could open their flag…even if it had bullet holes in it.
They were heroes.
They fought bravely…suffered in silence…and today we honor them.
For a history of the War Against All Puerto Ricans, read the book…
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