New Britain’s ‘Borinqueneers’ Memorial Park On Track

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Robert Held

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


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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Two Connecticut ‘Borinqueneers” Join President For Historic Bill Signing

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Celestino Cordova ( 3rd from right) and Jose Pickard (third from left) watch as President Barack Obama signs the bill that awards the 65th regiment , known as the Borinqueneers the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor

Issued by the office of Senator Richard Blumenthal (D) CT  

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) today joined Connecticut Borinqueneers Celestino Cordova of New Haven and Jose Pickard of Wethersfield at a White House signing ceremony of a bill awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to the renowned 65th Infantry Regiment. The segregated military unit, whose members were known as the “Borinqueneers,” was composed almost entirely of soldiers from Puerto Rico and played a prominent role in World War I, World War II and the Korean War. The unit was the last segregated unit to be deactivated.

I felt deep pride and joy standing with Connecticut Borinqueneers Celestino Cordova and Jose Pickard for this

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