Construction is ready to begin on the monument for the highly decorated 65th Infantry Regiment, known as the Borinqueneers, at the new city park in the unit’s honor at the corner of Washington and Beaver Streets.
The 65th was organized as a military unit on Puerto Rico in 1898 and its soldiers were primarily Puerto Rican. The unit fought in both World War I and World War II. The Borinqueneers’ service in the Korean War is especially honored.
The 65th Infantry was noted for its bravery in numerous battles in the Korean War. Soldiers of the 65th received 2,771 Purple Hearts, 606 Bronze Stars, 10 Distinguished Service Crosses and a Medal of Honor. Sixty-one thousand Puerto Ricans served in the military during the Korean War, and more than 700 gave their lives in the war.
Members of the unit faced discrimination and segregation, and overcame these and many other obstacles.
The monument to the 65th Infantry was made possible by $300,000 in state funding secured through the efforts of the city’s legislative delegation last year, led by State Rep. Bobby Sanchez (D-25th).
Sanchez said that he was, “particularly thankful for the $300,000 allocation for the construction of a monument to honor our beloved Borinqueneers. I am proud to have championed this project in Hartford, along with many supporters and advocates that helped us during the process.”
Over the years, leaders in New Britain’s Puerto Rican community, notably former Police Commission Chair Manuel Reyes, have advocated for honoring the veterans of the 65th.
The new monument will grace the main route from the north into the city center.
The groundbreaking for the monument’s construction is to be on August 5th at 12:00noon.