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House OKs honor for Puerto Rico-based Army unit

May 21, 2014

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Congressman Bill Higgins says the House of Representatives has approved a bill awarding the Congressional Gold Medal to an Army infantry regiment that was made up almost entirely of soldiers from Puerto Rico.

The Buffalo Democrat says soldiers in the segregated 65th Infantry Regiment made sacrifices for the nation during World Wars I and II as well as the Korean War while facing discrimination at the same time. Known as the Borinqueneers (BOH’-rin-keh-neers), the Puerto Rico-based unit became part of the Army after the island was acquired by the U.S.

Higgins is a co-sponsor of the bill, which now goes to the Senate for consideration. The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest civilian award given by Congress.

The Western New York Hispanic American Veterans Memorial Monument in Buffalo contains a special tribute to the 65th Infantry.

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