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City of Springfield Honors 65th Infantry Regiment on National Borrinqueñeer's Day

|   City News

Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and Veterans Services Director Tom Belton, in coordination with Executive Director of the Bilingual Veterans Outreach Centers of Massachusetts, Inc. Gumersindo Gomez held the third annual flag raising ceremony to acknowledge and honor National Borrinqueñeer's Day in the City of Springfield. City Council President Jesse Lederman and Councilors Maria Perez, Justin Hurst and Tracye Whitfield, Board of Police Commissioner Norman Roldan, and representatives from state Senator Adam Gomez and Jacob Oliveira were also in attendance.

In 2021, Congress declared that April 13th will be designated as National Borrinqueñeer's Day, which will ‘recognize the bravery, service, and sacrifice’ of the 65th Infantry Regiment, a U.S. Army unit that consisted mostly of soldiers from Puerto Rico.  April 13th marks the day that members of the 65th Infantry Regiment, also referred to as “the Borrinqueñeer's”, received the Congressional Gold Medal in 2016.

Mayor Sarno states, “National Borrinqueñeer's Day pays tribute to the bravery, service, sacrifices, valor, and adversities that our honorable Puerto Rican and Hispanic soldiers overcame while serving our country.  Today, we are proud to recognize and honor the brave and dedicated members of the 65th Infantry Regiment. Their contributions to our nation’s history are significant and well deserving of this honor and recognition, with many receiving numerous medals, citations, ribbons and other awards and merits.  Also, my thanks to Sgt. Gumersindo Gomez for his unwavering tenacity to make sure that the 65th Infantry – “Borinqueneers” are nationally recognized. Godspeed and thank you for your service.” 

Hailing from Puerto Rico, the 65th Infantry Regiment was created by Congress in 1899, and was the only Hispanic-segregated unit ever in the United States Armed Forces and consisted almost entirely of Puerto Rican natives. The 65th Infantry Regiment was nicknamed the “Borrinqueñeer's” – stemming from the native Taino word for the island of Puerto Rico. The Borrinqueñeer's played a prominent role in American Military History serving through World War I, World War 2, and most notably the Korean War.

Facing bitter conditions, working through language barriers with their non-Hispanic officers, and fighting with limited resources, the 65th Infantry Regiment served with distinction and valor and became an official component of the U.S. Army in 1908. The Borrinqueñeer's earned Two Presidential Unit Citations, the Army Unit Superior Award, Navy Unit Citation, Two Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citations, and the Bravery Gold Medal of Greece.  Members of the 65th Infantry Regiment received four Distinguished Service Crosses and 125 Silver Stars, among many other decorations. In 2016, Congress awarded the unit the Congressional Gold Medal.

Page last updated:  Tuesday, March 1, 2022 01:32 pm