First Borinqueneer Monument May Be Built in New Britain


NEW BRITAIN — The city is on track to become the first community in the continental U.S. to erect a monument recognizing the Borinqueneers 65th Infantry Regiment — the only active-duty segregated Latino military unit in U.S. history.
The Common Council unanimously signed off on building the monument at the corner of Beaver, LaSalle and Washington streets and Farmington Avenue. The 65th Infantry fought for the U.S. during World War I, World War II and the Korean War in the 1950s.
“Other city’s in the country have plaques, but none have a monument,” said state Rep. Bobby Sanchez, D-New Britain, who broached the idea of having a monument in the city several years ago. “The only monument is in San Juan (Puerto Rico).”
After plans to have a monument at North and Oak streets fell through, Sanchez approached Mayor Timothy O’Brien last month about locating the monument in the Beaver Street area.

“My uncle, who was a mayor in Rincon, Puerto Rico, in the late 1970s, was one of the original Borinqueneers. He was in the Korean War,” Sanchez said. “This is personal for me.”
Sanchez said he hopes the monument — which is to be funded solely by private donations — could be erected no later than the summer of
“We are in the planning stages now,” Sanchez said. “We will have a meeting next week and then we’ll have some estimated costs to how much this will be. We should also have an idea on how big the monument will be.”

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