The Borinqueneers 65 Years Later
By Sam Rodríguez
Translated by Albie Albertorio
At the end of August, 1950 three battalions of the 65th Infantry Regiment boarded the “Marine Lynx” and went out through the San Juan Bay. The Marine Lynx was packed with Puerto Rican soldiers. Some of them were Veterans of the Second World War and others were minors of age who defied their parents and enlisted in the army for the opportunity to see the world. Those young people did not have the slightest idea of what was waiting for them, as soon as they arrived at there will come to their destination. Some of the Puerto Ricans were from the cities and others from rural areas. Some of them were university students, whereas others only completed the ninth grade and others had graduated from high school.
The common denominator between them was their heraldry and Puerto Rican culture, patriotism, and their military pride. They knew that this trip would be a serious mission and perhaps without return to this beautiful island of the Caribbean. I ask myself; what were they thinking? Today, 65 years later we are writing new chapters as for the Puerto Rican soldiers who represented Puerto Rico and fought as part of the United States Army. Nowadays this historical event, for many, remained forgotten. For me this month is very significant. Two years ago, I wrote about the deployment of the Regiment towards a completely unknown world. For many of which they saw “El Morro”and the “El Morro” Guard Posts, were the last structures they saw and left behind of their dear island. That's why it gives me so much pleasure to write about this topic during the August month. Coincidently, this month has another very particular and important meaning for all of us.
In August of last year we begin the stage of the creation and development of the design of the Congressional Gold Medal of the United States in collaboration with the United States Mint Office, “U.S. Mint”. I have already written and we have spoken on this topic in several occasions. The stage of design is history; the concept and the design of the medal were already approved by the Deputy Secretary of the Treasury and in October, 2015 it will be begin to be minted. Then, the Speaker of the House of the Congress will plan a formal ceremony that will take place at Capitol Hill.
This ceremony and dedication to the Borinqueneers will be organized by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honorable John Boehner, and will be carried out next year 2016. Honorable John Boehner has been very generous with the veterans of the 65th Infantry Regiment. A historical moment like this, bears great organization, and logistics, reason why the National Committee was created for; the Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony. This committee is composed by volunteers; and between them are retired military and officials, lawyers, community leaders, executives of the Congress, children of Borinqueneers and this servant. As previously mentioned, this is a volunteers' committee in which they all contribute somehow or another. In the committee exist neither monarchs, nor kings, nor titles. In the committee what will prevail will be the mission to honor the Borinqueneers. All the merits and awards will be for the Borinqueneers and pride and satisfaction for all of us as community that work hard to obtain this important victory to honor our Hispanic heroes.
Here we all win; but this time, those who will speak and express themselves will be our Borinqueneers. It is already time to give them the opportunity to say to us how they feel after 65 years from when they sailed along the bay of San Juan, Puerto Rico. They will have the opportunity to express publicly their feelings from the bottom of their hearts. We will keep on offering to them our unconditional support.
The official ceremony to present the Congressional Gold Medal will be with Borinqueneers, their relatives, Congressmen, Dignitaries, and guests. To commemorate this occasion there will be public and solemn activities so that you or any interested citizen could take part. For the collaboration and handling of these activities the BCGM Ceremony National Committee was created. Also an Internet Page was created to publish all the information related to the ceremony and other activities of the Borinqueneers. The address of the page is:
To be able to carry out all these activities, donations are required to be collected, since the government will not cover the expenses of the replicas of the BCGM, we want to obtain them to be delivered to all the surviving veterans and also to the relatives of those who died in combat or for natural death.
Your support is extremely valued and all the Latinos we will be able to be finally very proud to be able to present the CGM to the heroes of the 65th Infantry Regiment.
Edited by; Lydia E Santiago