Senator NELLIE POU
District 35 (Bergen and Passaic)
Senator NILSA I. CRUZ-PEREZ
District 5 (Camden and Gloucester)
Senators Madden and Ruiz
Designates April 13th as Borinqueneers Day in New Jersey.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
A Joint Resolution designating April 13th as Borinqueneers Day in New Jersey.
Whereas, New Jersey residents include persons of Puerto Rican and Hispanic descent, many of whom have served in the Armed Forces of the United States; and
Whereas, The 65th Infantry Regiment was comprised largely of Puerto Rican soldiers, members of which were colloquially known as Borinqueneers; and
Whereas, Borinquen is the historical name of Puerto Rico; and
Whereas, Members of the 65th Infantry Regiment fought in World War I, World War II, and the Korean War; and
Whereas, Borinqueener soldiers served with distinction in these conflicts, receiving numerous combat awards, including the Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, Bronze Star, and many Purple Hearts; and
Whereas, The 65th Infantry Regiment was awarded the Presidential Unit Commendation, the Meritorious Unit Commendation, and two Korean Presidential Unit Citations in recognition of its service in Korea; and
Whereas, Borinqueneers endured years of unfair treatment and discrimination while fighting for the United States, despite their distinguished service; and
Whereas, In 2016, the 65th Infantry Regiment was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in recognition of the Borinqueneers’ service to the United States; and
Whereas, The Borinqueneers’ service is now honored by the federal government on April 13 of every year pursuant to an act of Congress; and
Whereas, The State of New Jersey similarly recognizes the contributions of its Puerto Rican and Hispanic service members and veterans, now, therefore,
Be It Resolved by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. April 13th is designated Borinqueneers Day.
2. This joint resolution shall take effect immediately.
This joint resolution designates April 13th as Borinqueneer’s Day. Borinqueneer refers to members of the 65th Infantry Regiment, a unit comprised largely of Puerto Rican soldiers. Borinequeneer is derived from the indigenous, precolonial name for the island of Puerto Rico.
The 65th Infantry Regiment saw action in World War I, World War II, and the Korean War. Its members served with distinction in these conflict. Borinqueneers were awarded 90 Purple Hearts in World War II and over 2,000 during the Korean War. Borinqueneers received many accolades for their service in Korea, including the Distinguished Service Cross, the Silver Star, and the Bronze Star. Additionally, the regiment was awarded the Presidential Unit Commendation, Meritorious Unit Commendation, and two Korean Presidential Unit Citations.
Despite the Borinqueneers’ distinguished wartime service, members were subject to years of unfair treatment and discrimination, even while fighting for the United States. In April of 2016, the regiment was awarded a Congressional Gold Medal in recognition of its achievements. As part of the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act, Congress designated April 13 as the day to honor the Borinqueneers’ service and “the sacrifices made and adversities overcome by Puerto Rican and Hispanic members of the armed forces.”