Resolution on Congressional Gold Medal to the 65th Infantry Regiment

WHEREAS, 84 years ago, the founders of the League of Latin American Citizens, (LULAC) joined together to establish an organization that would become the largest, oldest and successful Hispanic civil rights and service organization in the United States, and

WHEREAS, military heroes who served so valiantly and honorably in wars in which this country’s freedom was at stake should be recognized by the people of this great nation, who should never forget the courage with which these soldiers fought; and

WHEREAS, this auspicious honor, considered the most distinguished, is an award bestowed by the United States Congress and is, along with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States; it is given to persons who have performed an achievement that has an impact on American history and culture that is likely to be recognized as a major achievement in the recipient’s on American history and culture that is likely to be recognized as a major achievement in the recipient’s filed long after the achievement; by every measure, the Borinqueneers are such individuals; and

WHEREAS, as mandated by Congress in 1899, the 65th Infantry Regiment, hailing from Puerto Rico was the only Hispanic-segregated unit ever in the United Sates Armed Forces that played a prominent role in American military history, having participated in three wars in which the United States was engaged—World War II, and most notably, the Korean War; and

WHEREAS, the Borinqueneers were willing to shed their blood, sweat and tears for democracy by enlisting in the United States Armed Forces on their own accord to defend the freedoms of others, , and

WHEREAS, these brave men were amongst the first infantrymen on the “Rock of the Marne Division” (3rd Infantry Division) to meet the enemy on the battlefields of Korea, fighting with determination and efficiency, and

WHEREAS, At the stragegic evacuation of Hungnam the US 65th Infantry help hold overwhelming enemy forces in a rear guard action, was one of the last units to embark-helping protect UN/US Forces against a vastly superior Enemy Forces so they could successfully return to South Korea to fight again another day; thus averting a potential catastrophic disaster, and

WHEREAS, In 1951, the 65th Infantry was in the midst of a desperate battle for key terrain and after three days of bloody fighting, two battalions of the 65th Infantry boldly fixed bayonets and audaciously charged the Chinese Troops making the enemy flee and capturing the hills in the LAST Recorded battalion-sized bayonet assault in the U.S. Military history; and

WHEREAS, General of the Armies Douglas MacArthur, once stated: “the Puerto Ricans of the gallant 65th Infantry on the battlefields of Korea by valor, determination, and a resolute will to victory five daily testament to their invincible loyalty to the United States. Tye write a brilliant record of achievement in battle and I am proud indeed to have them in this command. I wish that we might have many more like them!” and

WHEREAS, the 65th Infantry Regiment served with distinction and valor, earning two Presidential Unit Citations, Army Unit Superior Award, Navy Unit Citation, two Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citations and Bravery Gold Medal of Greece; and

WHEREAS, General (Ret.) Richardson Cavazos, the first and arguably the only Latino (of Mexican descent) ever to achieve the military rank of four-star general in any of the U.S. Armed Forces, had military origins with the 65th Infantry Regiment in the Korean War. General Cavazos served with distinction with the 65th Infantry by earning the Army’s Distinguished Service Cross; and

WHEREAS, the 65th Infantry Regiment was arguably the most ethnically diverse fighting military unit while in U.S. combat history comprising of Puerto Rican, African-American, Mexican-American, Philippine, Virgin Island soldiers and soldiers of many other ethnicities; and

WHEREAS, The Congressional Honor would affirm that they are recognized by the people of the United States as true American heroes who served their country with distinction, fighting bravely even while enduring the hardships of segregation and discrimination; and

WHEREAS, veritable American heroes, the Borinqueneers deserve to be recognized, commended, acknowledged and remembered by LULAC, as well as by all the citizens of this great Nation

BE IT RESOLVED, that the United States Congress Award the Congressional Gold Medal to the 65th Infantry Regiment for their heroic valor amidst adversity.

Approved this 22nd day of June 2013.

Margaret Moran
LULAC National President

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