In Puerto Rico, there are many holidays. However, one of the most popular and important is the National Day of the Borinqueños. On this day, the bravery of the Puerto Rican soldiers of the 65th Infantry Regiment is recognized and celebrated.
These soldiers participated in armed conflicts during the 20th and 21st centuries. For years, Puerto Ricans have been waiting for a recognition like this, and they have finally achieved it. That is why since 2021, the National Day of the Borinqueños is celebrated.
Deep gratitude is expressed for the contributions to the Armed Forces made by hundreds of thousands of patriotic United States citizens from Puerto Rico. It is no secret to anyone that these soldiers of the 65th Infantry Regiment made significant contributions to the history of the United States.
We know that Puerto Rican veterans not only fought against foreign enemies in the war. They also faced discrimination, often from those they served with.
Today we are going to tell you a little more about this day and you will learn all the history behind this day and the actions of this battalion that became history throughout Puerto Rico.
On April 13, the day of the Borinqueños is celebrated.
Since last year, the United States Congress has designated April 13 as National Borinqueneers Day. From this moment, justice was done and this regiment was given the recognition it deserved.
Last year was the first celebration, and Puerto Ricans celebrated this day in style. And, without a doubt, this will be one of the most important festivities for all of Puerto Rico.
Where does the name Borinqueños originate from?
During the Korean War, the 65th adopted the nickname “The Borinqueneers”. The name honors the Taino Indians, the original inhabitants of Puerto Rico or the island of Borinquen. Their operations during the Korean War were very supportive.
The Borinqueneers received numerous decorations, including more than 2,700 Purple Hearts, 600 Bronze Stars, 250 Silver Stars, 9 Distinguished Service Crosses, and 1 Medal of Honor, among other recognitions and awards.
The story about the 65th Infantry Regiment
The 65th Infantry Regiment is a military regiment that belonged to Puerto Rico and that served the United States Army on several occasions. Next, we are going to tell you a little more about the history of this regiment and how it participated in different armed conflicts for the United States.
The First World War
During the First World War, this battalion fulfilled surveillance functions in Panama. Although they did not have a direct participation in the war, however, this time was important for them, since it was the beginning of this regiment.
After this function, the regiment regrouped again in Puerto Rico, adding more soldiers and renaming themselves the 65th Battalion. This took place in the year 1920, and that was officially the birth of the 65th Infantry regiment.
The Second World War
During World War II, this battalion had a much more important and active participation. In 1943, this battalion moved to North Africa, landing in Casablanca, where they stayed for a few months until they moved to Italy in 1944.
At that time, the battalion was divided into three, one part reaching as far as the Maritime Alps. Another part went to France, and finally, the last part stayed in Italy doing work as a security force.
After the surrender of Germany in 1945, the battalion acted as an occupation force for some time. Finally, the battalion returned to Puerto Rico. From that moment, the battalion had already obtained fame in Puerto Rico.
This operation refers to a series of military exercises carried out between the United States and Puerto Rico. They were a series of maneuvers that sought to know how the Army would react to an enemy capture. The name of this operation comes from the acronym “Puerto Rico Exercise” and was carried out between the Army, the Marine Corps, the Navy and the USAF.
During these exercises, the 65th Infantry Regiment stood out, which eventually led to the US Army sending them to Korea. Additionally, these exercises demonstrated that Puerto Rico had sufficient capacity to defend itself.
In 1950, the 65th Infantry Regiment was sent to the Korean peninsula to participate in the war. During this war, this battalion stood out and became an important part of the victory.
The objective of this battalion was to exterminate the enemy detachments that waged guerrilla warfare. During this war, the Borinqueños withstood the advancing Chinese army long enough for the United Nations Navy and Army to take up positions and drive the enemies back.
All this made the 65th Infantry Regiment one of the main pillars of this victory.
The end of the 65th Infantry Regiment
A few years after the end of the Korean War, more specifically on March 3, 1953, it ceased to be a Puerto Rican regiment. And this was because the US Army decided to add US personnel to this battalion.
Adaptations on the history of the 65th Infantry Regiment
Some adaptations have been made on the history of the Borinqueños, among which films such as: The Boriqueneers” and books such as “The Shape of Courage” stand out.
If you want to delve a little deeper into this wonderful story, either of these two adaptations is going to be a very good option.