Rangel Joins Obama As Congressional Gold Medal Awarded Borinqueneers
Rangel at earlier event for 65th
Congressman Charles B. Rangel will be joining with President Barack Obama for a bill signing ceremony for H.R. 1726, to Award a Congressional Gold Medal to the 65th Infantry Regiment, known as the Borinqueneers, on Tuesday, June 10th at 10:50 AM in the South Court Auditorium of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in Washington, DC.
"As a Korean War veteran, I was proud to cosponsor the bill to award the Congressional Gold Medal to the Borinqueneers in recognition of the pioneering military service of my Puerto Rican comrades, and their devotion to duty, as well as their valiant sacrifices in the face of adversity," Rangel said.
Comprised mainly of Puerto Rican soldiers, the Borinqueneers was the largest, longest standing, and only active-duty segregated military unit in US history. While serving in World War I, World War II, and the Korean War, the Regiment gave daily proof of its courage, determination, and resolute will to victory -- despite the additional burdens of discrimination.
By the time fighting came to a close in Korea, members of the 65th Regiment had earned 10 Distinguished Service Crosses, 256 Silver Stars, 606 Bronze Stars, and 2,771 Purple Hearts. Collectively, the Regiment won numerous awards, including two Presidential Unit Citations -- the nation's highest unit level recognition -- for extraordinary heroism.
A Congressional Gold Medal, along with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, is the highest civilian award in the United States. Only four other military units have received the Congressional Gold Medal: the Native American Navajo Wind Talkers, the Japanese-American Nisei Soldiers, and the African-American Tuskegee Airmen and the Montford Point Marines. Rangel played an integral role in getting the Congressional Gold Medal awarded to the Tuskegee Airmen and the Montford Point Marines.
"It's never too late to honor the forgotten heroes for their contributions to defending the freedom we enjoy today. I couldn't be happier to join my brothers in arms to celebrate their well-deserved recognition by the President and the nation," Rangel added.
Rangel served in the United States Army from 1948 to 1952 and is a decorated Korean War veteran. He was recognized for his bravery with a Purple Heart, the Bronze Star with Valor, and three battle stars.
Earlier this week, Rangel met with members of the 65th Regiment to celebrate this joyous occasion, as well as participated in New York City's 57th annual Puerto Rican Day Parade, in his congressional district.