Obama honors Puerto Rican infantry regiment with Congressional Gold Medal

President Obama signed a bill on Tuesday that awarded the Congressional Gold Medal to the 65th Infantry Regiment “Borinqueneers,” who came from Puerto Rico and served in World War II and Korea. (The Associated Press)

President Obama honored the nation's only all-Puerto Rican military unit with one of the nation's highest honors Tuesday.

Obama signed a measure Tuesday giving the 65th Infantry Regiment, known as the Borinqueneers,  the Congressional Gold Medal. The regiment served in World War I, World War II and the Korean War. About 62,000 Puerto Ricans joined the military during World War II, and more than 43,000 fought in the Korean War.

The Borinqueneers join a small number of military companies, including the Tuskegee Airmen, Navajo Code Talkers and Women Air Force Service Pilots of World War II to be awarded the medal.

Only one other Hispanic American, baseball player Roberto Clemente, has received the honor, Obama said. He was surrounded by a number of members of the regiment, some of whom lifted their hands above their heads in celebration after Obama signed the measure.

"It's a proud day for all Americans, especially Hispanic Americans," Obama said, adding that he wanted to thank the men on behalf of the American people. "You’ve earned a hallowed place in our history."

Katie Zezima covers the White House for Post Politics and The Fix.
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