SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A special salute for our Puerto Rican service members, known as National Borinqueneers Day, was held Tuesday morning in Springfield.
April 13th is a day honoring the service of the 65th Infantry Regiment, a U.S. Army unit that consisted mostly of soldiers from Puerto Rico. The infantry received the Congressional Gold Medal in 2016. The regiment was formed in 1899 and has served in both the Korean War and the Global War on Terrorism.
To start the day, a flag raising ceremony was held on the front steps of City Hall with Mayor Domenic Sarno, who was joined by Gumersindo Gomez, who represents Ward 1 on the Springfield City Councilor.
“What I want the people to remember, in not only Springfield but all the United States, is that we, the Puerto Rican people have given our drop of blood for the freedom of our nation, and that we will continue to do so because this is our home, this is where we belong, and we will defend our constitution and our way of freedom,” said Gomez.
The event continued at 11 a.m. on Allen Street honoring and recognizing the only two survivors of the 65th Infantry Regiment in the State, Victor Manuel Rosario and Antonio Morales. Rosario is a Korean War Veteran and has received the Korean Service Medal and One Bronze Service Star.
“As a Puerto Rican, I love Puerto Rico and I’m proud to have been in service,” said Rosario.
Morales is a WWII Veteran and has received the American Defense Medal with Metal Clasp, American Theater Service Medal, European African Middle Eastern Theater Service Medal with 3 Bronze Stars, Good Conduct Medal, 7 overseas Service Bars and the World War II Victory Medal.