WASHINGTON, April 6, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- History will be made on April 13, 2016 as veterans of the 65th Infantry Regiment are honored by leaders of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate with the presentation of a Congressional Gold Medal for its valor, determination and bravery displayed during the Korean War. The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest civilian honor the United States Congress can bestow.
Multiple members of the House and Senate who supported the initiative will attend and/or speak at the bipartisan, bicameral ceremony event, including Congressman Pedro Pierluisi (D-PR) and Congressman Bill Posey (R-FL), Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).
Originated in Puerto Rico in 1899, members of the 65th Infantry Regiment known as the Borinqueneers have the distinction of having participated in all global wars of the 20th Century, including World War I, World War II and the Korean War. In addition to the Congressional Gold Medal, the Regiment earned a collective nine Distinguished Service Crosses, approximately 250 Silver Stars, more than 600 Bronze Stars, more than 2,700 Purple Hearts, and 15 Unit Citations for its extraordinary service to the Nation during the Korean War.
In an effort to further awareness and recognition of these national heroes and their achievements, the not-for-profit Borinqueneers Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony National Committee (BCGMCNC) was created. In addition to organizing all the activities associated with the unveiling ceremony in DC, the group is also planning additional ceremonies in San Juan, Puerto Rico and Central Florida.
The group's founder and CEO, Samuel Rodríguez, was chosen to collaborate with the US Mint on the design of the medal which will be given to the Smithsonian Institute and placed on public display following the ceremony. In an effort to expose as many of the Borinqueneers and their families to the medal, it is the hope of the BCGMCNC that the medal can be toured and displayed at appropriate locations across the country. In addition, an initiative is currently underway to buy replica medals from the U. S. Mint that will be given free of cost to members of the regiment and their direct descendants.
"In accordance with Public Law No: 113-20, a single gold medal has been struck to honor the Borinqueneers," said Rodríguez. "But we think that each member deserves their own medal. There are more than 1,000 living veterans throughout the United States, and, thanks to Goya Foods, Inc., we have raised enough so far to give one to each of the 230 attendees who will be at the ceremony in Washington, D.C. However, we still need funds for the rest so that no veteran is left out."
While the BCGMCNC was originally established as a way to enhance the Congressional Gold Medal ceremony by adding events and activities for the Borinqueneers and their families and to raise funds for the replica medals, Rodríguez sees a greater purpose. "These veterans deserve recognition and our great Nation needs to be educated about them," said Rodríguez. "Through educating people about their courage and heroism, we are carrying on their legacy and hopefully inspiring others to follow in their footsteps."
Donations are currently being accepted at http://www.gofundme.com/65thBCGMCNC.
About the BCGMCNC
The Borinqueneers Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony National Committee (BCGMCNC) is a national non-profit organization committed to honoring and celebrating all of the members of the U.S. Army's 65th Infantry Regiment known as the Borinqueneers, including those that are Missing in Action, Prisoners of War, Fallen, Departed and Living from 1899 – 1956 by: Paying tribute to the Veterans; Promoting their legacy; and Educating the public. To learn more about the BCGMCNC visit http://www.bcgmceremony.org
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SOURCE Borinqueneers Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony National Committee