The City of Springfield, in coordination with the Bilingual Veterans Outreach Centers of Massachusetts, Inc. Executive Director Gumersindo Gomez joined for Springfield’s second annual flag raising ceremony to honor the 65th Infantry Regiment and celebrate National Borrinqueñeer's Day at City Hall today.
On behalf of Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, Mayoral Aide Minerva Marrero read a proclamation declaring April 13th “National Borrinqueñeer's Day” in the City of Springfield. The Puerto Rican flag was raised in honor of the members of the 65th Infantry Regiment – the only Hispanic-segregated unit ever in the United States Armed Forces, which consisted almost entirely of Puerto Rican natives. The 65th Infantry Regiment was nicknamed the “Borrinqueñeer's” – stemming from the native Taino word for the island of Puerto Rico: “Borinquen”.
In 2021, Congress declared that April 13th will be designated as National Borrinqueñeer's Day, to ‘recognize the bravery, service, and sacrifice’ of the 65th Infantry Regiment. April 13th marks the day that members of the Borrinqueñeer's received the Congressional Gold Medal in 2016.
Mayor Sarno states, “National Borrinqueñeer's Day pays tribute to the bravery, service, sacrifices, and adversities that our honorable Puerto Rican and Hispanic soldiers overcame while serving our country and beyond. Today, we are proud to recognize and honor the brave and dedicated members of the 65th Infantry Regiment. Their contributions to our nation’s history is significant and well deserving of this honor and recognition. God speed and thank you for your service.”
Bilingual Veterans Outreach Centers of Massachusetts, Inc. Executive Director Gumersindo Gomez organized and emceed the ceremony. Guests included Antonio Morales, a WWII veteran and member of the 65th Regiment, as well as the family of Victor M. Rosario, a late member of the 65th Infantry Regiment. Also in attendance for today’s celebration were State Senator Adam Gomez, City Councilor Maria Perez, City Councilor Michael Fenton, and City Councilor Kateri Walsh.