Florida Senate - 2013 SENATOR AMENDMENT Bill No. SM 1266 Barcode 123664 LEGISLATIVE ACTION Senate . House . . . Floor: 1/AD/2R . 03/27/2013 05:13 PM . ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————— Senator Soto moved the following: 1 Senate Amendment 2 3 Delete lines 7 - 90 4 and insert: 5 6 WHEREAS, the Borinqueneers trace their linage to the 7 “Puerto Rico Regiment of Volunteer Infantry,” authorized by 8 Congress on March 2, 1899, as the first body of native troops in 9 Puerto Rico, the only Hispanic-segregated unit in the United 10 States Armed Forces that played a prominent role in American 11 military history, and 12 WHEREAS, during World War I, the Borinqueneers rallied a 13 force of over 1,500 to defend the Panama Canal, and upon their 14 return to Puerto Rico were renamed “The 65th Infantry Regiment,” 15 and 16 WHEREAS, during World War II, the Borinqueneers served in 17 North Africa and Europe, winning Naples-Foggia, Rome-Arne, 18 Central Europe, and Rhineland battle campaign awards; and were 19 assigned security, anti-sabotage, and other occupation missions 20 around Kaiserslautern and Mannheim, Germany after the war, and 21 WHEREAS, during the Korean War, the Borinqueneers were the 22 only all-Hispanic unit; joined the United States 3rd Infantry 23 Division to be among the first infantry to engage in battle with 24 North Korean troops; served with distinction to earn 4 25 Distinguished Service Crosses, 124 Silver Stars, 9 Korean battle 26 campaign awards, the Presidential and Meritorious Unit 27 Commendations, 2 Korean Presidential Unit Citations, and the 28 Greek Gold Medal for Bravery; and are credited with launching 29 the last recorded battalion-sized bayonet assault in United 30 States Army history, and 31 WHEREAS, legendary United States Army General Douglas 32 MacArthur lauded the Borinqueneers, crediting them with a 33 resolute will to victory and loyalty to the United States, 34 saying, “They are writing a brilliant record of heroism in 35 battle and I am indeed proud to have them under my command. I 36 wish that we could count on many more like them,” and 37 WHEREAS, in 1959, the Borinqueneers passed their colors to 38 the National Guard of the United States Territory of Puerto 39 Rico, withdrawing from the Regular Army, the only time in United 40 States Army history that active unit colors were not retired, 41 but, instead, turned over to a National Guard unit, and 42 WHEREAS, today, the legacy of the Borinqueneers lives on in 43 the National Guard in Puerto Rico, which continues to defend the 44 United States in the ongoing War on Terrorism, and 45 WHEREAS, the Borinqueneers served and sacrificed, shedding 46 blood for our democracy and helping to ensure our prosperity as 47 they faced segregation and discrimination, protecting our nation 48 and fighting for the good of all, and 49 WHEREAS, these warriors, the Borinqueneers, deserve a place 50 with all American heroes, and should be honored, commended, and 51 never forgotten for their feats, and 52 WHEREAS, the Congressional Gold Medal is the highest 53 civilian award given by the United States Congress, awarded as 54 an expression of public gratitude on behalf of the nation for 55 distinguished contributions, NOW, THEREFORE, 56 57 Be It Resolved by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 58 59 That, in recognition of the bravery and sacrifice of the 60 United States 65th Infantry Regiment, the Borinqueneers, the 61 President and the Congress of the United States are urged to 62 award the Congressional Gold Medal to these true heroes and 63 defenders of our great nation. 64 BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that copies of this memorial be 65 dispatched to the President of the United States, to the 66 President of the United States Senate, to the Speaker of the 67 United States House of Representatives, to each member of the 68 Florida delegation to the United States Congress, to the Puerto 69 Rico Resident Commissioner, to the President of the United 70 States 65th Infantry Regiment Association, the chairman of the 71 Hispanic Achievers Grant Council, the chairman of the 72 Borinqueneers Congressional Gold Medal Alliance, and the 73 National Association for Uniformed Services.