Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., center, flanked by Puerto Rican Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi, left, and Rep. Bill Posey, R-Fla., on June 10 takes a photo of the H.R. 1726, which President Obama signed into law, that awards a Congressional Gold Medal to the 65th Infantry Regiment, know as the Borinqueneers. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP)
WASHINGTON — Puerto Rican Army troops from a segregated regiment known the Borinqueneers (bohr-ehn-kin-’EERS) are being honored with a Congressional Gold Medal that’s been a century in the making.
President Barack Obama signed legislation Tuesday granting the award to the 65th Infantry Regiment that participated in both World Wars and the Korean War.
Obama says the legislation “honors military heroes from our history.”
The Borinqueneers were a Hispanic unit segregated from their fellow soldiers, much like the black Tuskegee Airmen and the Navajo Code Talkers. But unlike those other groups, they had not been recognized with the Congressional Gold Medal for their contributions to American history until now.
A few of the Borinqueneers were in attendance for the bill signing and received a standing ovation.