65th Infantry Regiment Honored at CT Borinqueneers Day Ceremony

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Since 2018, the city of New Britain has honored the regiment with the largest monument in the country. In 2021, the city launched an annual ceremony.

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. — National Borinqueneers Day honors soldiers who fought in the 65th Infantry, the only all-Hispanic unit in the U.S. Army.

“They fought for a country that didn’t treat them as first-class citizens, yet they fought,” said Senator Richard Blumenthal passionately.

Carmelo Rodriguez Jr. is the chairman of the New Britain Latino Coalition. He explained that the brave men fought in both World Wars and the Korean War. However, he said they had only recently been recognized because they were Puerto Rican. As a veteran, Rodriguez said that makes him extremely happy and proud of the nation’s progress.

“I’m glad that even after so many years we can now fix this, honor them and respect them,” Rodriguez said.

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Since 2018, the city of New Britain has honored the regiment with the largest monument in the country. In 2021, the city launched an annual ceremony.

“As most residents of New Britain are of this descent, it is only fitting that we have this magnificent monument here in our city. It honors the Borinqueneers who fought for our country across the United States,” said New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart.

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Stewart said it was great to see the community come together to respect and celebrate.

“It’s an honor, and we can’t take for granted those who fought for our freedom that Americans often take for granted, and it’s important to remember that,” Stewart said. “Not just on April 13, but all year round.”

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The Borinqueneers received 90 Purple Heart medals and many other combat awards. In 2016, they received a Congressional Gold Medal. Rodriguez emphasized that his essential soldiers are recognized no matter what.

“Never forget history, honor history and honor those out there, so we don’t repeat the same mistakes,” Rodriguez said.

Raquel Harrington is the race and culture reporter for FOX61 News. She can be reached at rharrington@fox61.com. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and instagram.

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