Latino Affairs Commission recognizes the 65th
Infantry Regiment – “Borinqueneers”
The Board of Commissioners
of the Ohio Commission on Hispanic/Latino Affairs (OCHLA)
unanimously adopted a motion this week formally recognizing the
65th Infantry Regiment – “the Borinqueneers” - and
supporting the Borinqueneer Congressional Gold Medal Alliance’s
work toward the regiment’s national recognition.
after the original Taino name for the island of Puerto Rico, the
65th Infantry Regiment is the only segregated Latino
military unit in U.S. history. Hailing primarily, but not
exclusively, from Puerto Rico, the Borinqueneers served in the
U.S. army in World War I, World War II and the Korean War.
The unit is heavily
decorated, particularly for their service in the Korean War.
“The Commissioners are doing more than simply honoring the
Borinqueneers for their service, but are drawing attention to
all Ohio Latinos who have served their country.” said OCHLA
Executive Director Lilleana Cavanaugh.
OCHLA supports the work of
the Borinqueneer Congressional Gold Medal Alliance, which
is striving for national recognition of the 65th
Infantry through a Congressional Gold Medal. The highest
civilian honor in the United States, a Congressional Gold Medal
requires sponsorship from two-thirds of the members of each
house of Congress. Thus far, the resolutions have 151 sponsors
in the House of Representatives and 20 in the U.S. Senate.
Passage requires 290 and 67, respectively.
With the nation’s 10th
highest Puerto Rican population and more than 11,000 Latino
veterans – including a few veterans of the 65th –
Ohio’s congressional delegation is a natural group to consider
for sponsorship. Of Ohio’s 16 congressmen and two senators,
however, only Representatives Marcy Kaptur and Jim Jordan have
already signed on as sponsors.
Efforts to secure
sponsorship from the remaining members of Ohio’s congressional
delegation are underway, spearheaded by Latino veteran and
leader Henry Guzmán. “As we spend Veteran’s Day
contemplating the service and sacrifice of so many in our
nation’s history, it’s important to recognize the critical
service and contributions of those who endured discrimination
and injustice and served their country bravely anyway,” said
The Alliance must secure
the requisite cosponsors by January 15th, 2015.