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As Borinqueneers’ Congressional Gold Medal Committee Meets, Rubio Encourages Prompt Completion Of Award
Washington, D.C. –U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) is urging the committee overseeing the design of the Congressional Gold Medal for the Army’s 65th Infantry Regiment “Borinqueneers” to work diligently and urgently to complete its work. In a letter to the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee, which will formally meet today in Washington to review medal designs and solicit public input, Rubio highlighted the importance of accelerating its work, given the age and frail health of many Borinqueneers today.
“As you gather on Tuesday to review and discuss designs for the 65th Infantry Regiment Congressional Gold Medal, we are reminded of the importance of honoring these ‘Borinqueneers,’” wrote Rubio. “We must also remember the importance of moving quickly with the process while ensuring we create a quality product. Given the age of these veterans, time is truly of the essence.”
Timeline of the Borinqueneer Congressional Gold Medal:
- April 25, 2013: H.R. 1726 (113th), to award a Congressional Gold Medal to the 65th Infantry Regiment, known as the Borinqueneers, is introduced in the House.
- June 18, 2013: S. 1174 (113th), the Senate version of H.R. 1726, is introduced in the Senate and Rubio is an original co-sponsor.
- May 19, 2014: H.R. 1726 (113th) passes in the House and moves to the Senate.
- May 22, 2014: The Senate passes the bill without amendment by Unanimous Consent.
- June 10, 2014: President Barack Obama signs H.R. 1726 into law.
- June 27, 2014: The U.S. Mint designates two individuals to serve as the official Borinqueneers Congressional Gold Medal Design Liaison Team.
- July 22, 2014: Borinqueneer Julian Colon passes away.
- December 21, 2014: Borinqueneer Angel Santana passes away.
- January 19, 2015: Borinqueneer Jesús Asencio Vázquez passes away.
- January 23, 2015: Borinqueneer Gerardo Alverio passes away.
- February 24, 2015: Borinqueneer Antonio Ramos Oyola passes away.
- April 9, 2015: Borinqueneer Pedro Marti Arguinzoni passes away.
- June 10, 2015: One year since the legislation was signed into law, Borinqueneers still have not received their congressional gold medals.
- June 16, 2015: The CCAC will meet to review and discuss candidate designs for the medal.
A PDF of the letter is available here, and the full text is below:
June 15, 2015
Dear Chairman Marks:
As you gather on Tuesday to review and discuss designs for the 65th Infantry Regiment Congressional Gold Medal, we are reminded of the importance of honoring these “Borinqueneers.” Over one year ago, President Barack Obama signed the legislation awarding them the medal, and I thank you for your efforts in working to make this tribute possible. The Borinqueneers served our country through World War I, World War II and the Korean War with great courage and distinction. It is only right that we recognize these heroes with our country’s highest expression of national appreciation.
We must also remember the importance of moving quickly with the process while ensuring we create a quality product. Given the age of these veterans, time is truly of the essence. Sadly, several Borinqueneers have passed away since the bill’s signing, without ever having received the honor they earned during their lifetime. It is imperative that we act with urgency and do everything in our power to ensure that the remaining Borinqueneers receive their Congressional Gold Medals as soon as possible.
I hope this meeting is a great success, and I would like to thank all those who have helped with the medal: the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee, the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, the Borinqueneers Congressional Gold Medal Design Liaison Team, as well as the engaged stakeholders. I was proud to play a role in making this long overdue tribute a reality, and together we can finally complete the last step of the process to honor our Borinqueneers.