Projects To Honor Borinqueneers In Connecticut, On the Move

 

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Bill Sarno
CTLatinoNews.com
 

Recognition for the contributions and sacrifices made by the Puerto Rican soldiers of U.S. Army’s 65th infantry, the famed Borinqueneers, in three wars continues to advance in Connecticut with an effort to establish a memorial park in New Britain under way and, more recently, with legislation introduced to name in their honor a stretch of East Main Street in the Latino section of Bridgeport.

While work on the New Britain project is moving forward, primarily at this point  on the organizational and planning levels, the street renaming proposal, introduced in January by Rep. Christopher Rosario (D-128) of Bridgeport, has been gaining significant support both at the state level and from a national organization that spearheaded the successful drive to have a Congressional Medal of Honor awarded to the 65th Regiment.

Rosario’s bill is being considered with other street name requests, according to Rep. Angel Arce (D-4), …

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New Britain’s ‘Borinqueneers’ Memorial Park On Track

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Robert Held
CTLatinoNews.com
 

On the heels of the success of the national grassroots effort to award the ‘Borinqueneers” the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor, organizers of a memorial  park to honor the last segregated military unit in U.S. history say they are more energized than ever.

Isias Diaz, a Board member of the 65th Regiment National Historic Society and its spokesperson, says he and the others have high hopes for what the memorial park can stand for in New Britain.

“This park and memorial, I hope, will one day be compared to the Iwo Jima memorial located right near here in Connecticut. I want it to be iconic, where everyone knows what it means and what it symbolizes,” said Diaz.

The park, described as the first in the nation, has drawn support from a number of community leaders, who include, Rep. Bobby Sanchez,  New Britain City Councilman Willy Pabon,  …

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Opinion: The Borinqueneers Taught Us A Priceless Lesson

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By Diane Alverio
CTLatinoNews.com

 

This past week Celestino Cordova and Jose Picard from Connecticut, along with a few other remaining veterans known as the Borinqueneers, watched in the White House as President Barack Obama signed a bill awarding their once little known military unit the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor, the country’s highest civilian award.

Did they ever imagine this moment in American history would actually arrive?

The Borinqueneers are a unique Hispanic-American story. Over a span of nearly 60 years and three wars, these mostly young Puerto Ricans proudly answered the call of duty, only to find themselves in a segregated unit — ridiculed, ostracized and insulted by the very military in which they served — just because of how they spoke, what they ate and the color of their skin.

Officially known as the 65th regiment, the unit remained segregated until it was disbanded in the 1950s; …

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