National Borinqueneers Day Date in the current year: April 13, 2024

National Borinqueneers Day National Borinqueneers Day is celebrated annually on April 13. It was created to honor the contributions and commemorate the sacrifice of the 65th Infantry Regiment, a Puerto Rican regiment of the United States Army.

Puerto Ricans participated in military conflicts in which the United States was involved even prior to Puerto Rico becoming a United States territory. For example, volunteers from Puerto Rico enlisted in the Spanish army during the American Revolutionary War, where Spain fought as an ally of France and, by extension, of the Thirteen Colonies against the British.

Puerto Rico became a United States territory after the defeat of Spain in the Spanish-American War and the signing of the 1898 Treaty of Paris. Soon the United States Army received funds to formally organize troops in Puerto Rico. The creation of the Porto Rico Battalion of Volunteer Infantry was authorized on March 2, 1899. Its organization was followed by the creation of the Mounted Battalion in 1900.

In 1901, both units were reorganized into the Porto Rico Provisional Regiment of Infantry. The Provisional Regiment was reorganized as part of the “regular” Army in 1908 and received its current name, the 65th Infantry Regiment, in 1920.

The Puerto Rican regiment was activated in 1917, when it was sent to Panama to defend the Panama Canal Zone in World War I. It returned to Puerto Rico two years later. During World War II, it was first sent to Panama, then reassigned to North Africa, and finally sent to France. While in Europe, the regiment participated in campaigns in France, Germany, Italy, and Central Europe. It returned to Puerto Rico in November 1945.

The 65th Infantry Regiment also participated in the Korean War. It is during the Korean War that it was nicknamed “The Borinqueneers”. Borinquen is the original Arawak name for Puerto Rico; the nickname was coined during the long sea voyage from Puerto Rico to Busan. In the 21st century, the Borinqueneers participated in the Global War on Terrorism.

In 2020, the United States Congress supported the creation of National Borinqueneers Day by passing the National Defense Authorization Act. Although the legislation was vetoed by President Donald Trump, the House and Senate voted to override the presidential veto, and the bill became law on January 1, 2021.

The inaugural National Borinqueneers Day was celebrated on April 13, 2021. The date of the holiday was chosen to commemorate the day in 2016 when the 65th Infantry Regiment was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal for its impact on American history. Other military units that have received the same honor included the Native American code talkers, the Tuskegee Airmen, and the Japanese American 100th Infantry Battalion and 442nd Infantry Regiment.

National Borinqueneers Day aims to recognize the bravery, service, and sacrifice of the Puerto Rican regiment of the US Army in armed conflicts in the 20th and 21st centuries. Events held on the occasion celebrate the distinguished service of the veterans of the 65th Infantry Regiment and pay tribute to Puerto Rican and Hispanic service members who died in the line of duty.

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National Borinqueneers Day, 65th Infantry Regiment, observances in the United States, military observances, Puerto Rican regiment