Some of them were in Korea the day their homeland went to war.

But today, on June 13, 2016 el sesenta y cinco was awarded the highest accolade Congress can bestow. The Borinqueneers went from forgotten soldiers who had to face both the enemy and discrimination, to heroes earning praise from the leaders of Congress and the military. In his closing speech, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan commented that “it takes a certain caliber of men” to fight for a country “that discriminates against you.” Dr. Barry Black, the Chaplain of the United States Senate asked God for forgiveness for segregating the Puerto Rican soldiers and for being slow in recognizing their sacrifice and heroism. Every speaker had honest and overdue praise for these men.

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Petersburg Times begins coverage marking the 50th anniversary of the end of the Korean War.

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Now, on this 50th anniversary of the war's end, we look at why and how the war was waged and the effect it had on the United States, on our communities and on many of the tens of thousands Korean War veterans who live in the Tampa Bay area.

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This scene is a common occurrence at these sites. Veterans from the many wars this country has fought find their way to these monuments triggering memories of days long gone and reopening unhealed, invisible wounds. This time, the majority of these veterans were Puerto Ricans who fought in the Korean War with the 65th U.S. Army Infantry Regiment—also known as el sesenta y cinco de infantería. Regardless of where they came from they were all Borinqueneers.


The Forgotten War, Cohen - AbeBooks

While African-American troops saw their role extended during WWII, greatly in part to Black leaders’ involvement in demanding access to combat positions and officers commissions, Puerto Rican units were kept from any assignment that may involve combat. The 65th served in North Africa and Europe during World War II, but not as first-line troops. Military authorities, reflecting the racial prejudice of the time, kept the regiment far from the front. The military followed a policy of racial segregation in which combat roles, with a few exceptions, were reserved for White troops. The military’s institutional racism had unintended consequences. As the 65th was kept from combat it underwent all kinds of training and its men and officers dutifully prepared for war. Non-combat assignments meant that the Borinqueneers suffered very few casualties throughout the war. By WWII’s end the 65th was a superbly trained and well-disciplined combat regiment.

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The wreath laying ceremonies were only the beginning of a long day which ended on a high note at Emancipation Hall in the Capitol building. The Borinqueneers were there to witness the unveiling of the Congressional Gold Medal awarded to the regiment on June 10, 2014. Earning this medal was no small feat. Since the American Revolution, Congress has commissioned gold medals as its highest expression of national appreciation for distinguished achievements and contributions. Since George Washington received it in 1776, only 158 individuals and entities have been awarded the medal to date. The 65th is the first unit to receive it for service during the Korean War. They join Roberto Clemente, who earned it posthumously, as the only Puerto Rican or Latino CGM recipients.

The Forgotten War | Memory Alpha | FANDOM …

This week, dozens of aging combat veterans made their way to Washington D.C. Early on the morning of Wednesday, April 13, they completed an almost mandatory circuit taking them from the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery to the World War II and Korean War memorials in the National Mall. They took part in wreath laying ceremonies at these monuments–an act of remembrance and respect for those fallen in combat and the ones still missing. Many of the veterans couldn’t contain their tears as the bugle played “Taps”. Who knows where the melody transported them? Did they remember battles fought? Friends lost? The terror of war? The pride they felt for their service? The price they paid in their youth?

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In all the years of research on the Black Hawk War, it becomes obvious to me that celebrated scholars and award winning authors who write about the Black Hawk War never asked or cared what the Indians they study have to say about their work. Nor do they asked how they would analyze, interpret, or if they have their own version of the particular story they are writing about. It follows that virtually every account and half-baked documentaries about Utah's indigenous peoples are based on assumptions, replete with half truths, ambiguities, platitudes, and omissions. Now we see why it said "they don't want the truth to be told." Or maybe they just don't care enough to write balanced and truthful accounts. The time has come when historians need to correct these inaccuracies in Utah history. Mormons need to stop putting the blame on others for this tragedy, and take responsibility for their own unrighteous behavior. And First Nations people need to tell their story and demand it be told accurately.