“The Fighting Borinqueneers persevered, despite discrimination
and hardship, to defend America throughout the entire Twentieth
Century,” said Congresswoman Kaptur, whose district is home to
the largest Puerto Rican communities outside New York—namely,
Lorain, Ohio, which is over 25 percent boricua.
“All told, more than 100,000 served and their courage was
boundless,” she said. “They even led the last regimental
bayonet charge in U.S. military history—a truly heroic act
during the Korean War that saved the lives of many.”
Congresswoman Kaptur said it is ironic that previous military
recipients of the Congressional Gold Medal include Navy Fleet
Admiral Ernest J. King, a native of Lorain.
Formed in 1898, shortly after Puerto Rico became a part of the
United States, the Borinqueneers served in World War I, World
War II, and Korea.
The Fighting Borinqueneers achieved glory in February 1951 when
they charged Chinese positions with bayonets, opening an escape
route for Marines who had been trapped near the Chosin
Segregation “set them apart from their fellow soldiers, but
their courage made them legendary,” President Obama said during
a signing ceremony at the White House. “We thank all the
Borinqueneers for their extraordinary service. You’ve earned a
hallowed place in our history.”