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Puerto Rican Soldiers Will Be Honored In April On National Borinqueneers Day

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

On Friday, Congress overrode a presidential veto to pass the National Defense Authorization Act. And with that legislation, it also designated April 13 as National Borinqueneers Day. The Borinqueneers refers to the 65th Infantry Regiment, comprised largely of Puerto Rican soldiers. Its name refers to Borinquen, Puerto Rico's precolonial name. Members of the 65th fought in both world wars and the Korean War, and their members endured years of unfair treatment and discrimination while fighting for the United States, garnering 90 Purple Heart medals and many other combat awards. In April of 2016, the regiment was awarded a Congressional Gold Medal. And now, every year on April 13, the Borinqueneers' service will be officially honored. The day marks, quote, "the sacrifices made and adversities overcome by Puerto Rican and Hispanic members of the armed forces," the law reads. It passed with bipartisan support. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.