NATIONAL BORINQUENEERS DAY
On April 13th, National Borinqueneers Day recognizes the sacrifices of the Puerto Rican Regiment of the Volunteer Infantry. Today the regiment is designated the 65th Infantry Regiment of the United States Army.
Congress first authorized a volunteer military presence in Puerto Rico the year after the island became a United States territory – 1899. Since the Spanish-American War, Puerto Rico’s military personnel have served honorably, though often in limited or non-combat roles. At the end of World War II, the military demobilized the 65th Infantry. However, when the Korean War broke out, the United States reactivated the combat-ready units; that included the 65th.
During the Korean War, the 65th adopted the nickname “The Borinqueneers.” The name honors the Taíno Indians, the original inhabitants of Puerto Rico or the island of Borinquen. Their operations during the Korean War provided substantial support. The Borinqueneers received numerous decorations, including more than 2,700 Purple Hearts, 600 Bronze Stars, 250 Silver Stars, 9 Distinguished Serve Crosses, and 1 Medal of Honor, among other commendations and awards.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalBorinqueneersDay
Celebrate the history of the 65th Infantry Regiment. Honor those who serve in the military from Puerto Rico. Support your Hispanic veterans and learn more about the first Hispanic regiment. One way to do that is by watching The Borinqueneers documentary directed by Noemí Figueroa Soulet and Raquel Ortiz. You can also share stories and photos of your Hispanic military family members. No matter how you celebrate, be sure to use #NationalBorinqueneersDay on social media.
NATIONAL BORINQUENEERS DAY HISTORY
In 2020, Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act, which included legislation supporting April 13th as National Borinqueneers Day. President Donald Trump vetoed the legislation, but on January 1, 2021, members of Congress overrode the presidential veto making the legislation law. The United States celebrated the first National Boriqueneers Day on April 13, 2021.