Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Bill Nelson (D-FL) today urged the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs to support legislation that would rename the post office located at 1415 West Oak Street in Kissimmee, Florida as the “Borinqueneers Post Office Building,” in honor of the famous Puerto Rican regiment of the United States Army. The House passed the legislation on December 14 and requires final approval from the Senate.
In 2016, Rubio presented a replica Congressional Gold Medal to Borinqueener CSM Anibal Albertorio and paid tribute to the group in a Senate floor speech. In 2014, Rubio was a leading supporter and cosponsor of a bill awarding the 65th Infantry Regiment “Borinqueneers” with the Congressional Gold Medal.
The full text of the letter is below:
The Honorable Ron Johnson The Honorable Claire McCaskill
Chairman Ranking Member
Senate Committee on Homeland Security Senate Committee on Homeland Security
and Government Affairs and Government Affairs
340 Dirksen Senate Office Building 442 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510 Washington, DC 20510
Dear Chairman Johnson and Ranking Member McCaskill:
We write in support of H.R. 4042, a bill to rename the post office located at 1415 West Oak Street, in Kissimmee, Florida, as the “Borinqueneers Post Office Building.” This legislation passed the U.S. House of Representatives on November 30, 2017, and is awaiting Senate consideration.
In 1898, Congress authorized the creation of the regiment of native troops in Puerto Rico. The Regiment distinguished itself over the course of multiple wars. During World War II, the Regiment fought valiantly in Europe, with many receiving the Purple Heart posthumously for their bravery and heroism. In Korea, the unit—by now known as the “Borinqueneers” after the original Taíno name of the island—earned the Navy Unit Commendation after covering the retreat of the 1st Marine Division at the Battle of Chosin Reservoir. General Douglas MacArthur paid tribute to the unit, writing:
The Puerto Ricans forming the ranks of the gallant 65th Infantry give daily proof on the battlefields of Korea of their courage, determination and resolute will to victory…They are writing a brilliant record of heroism in battle and I am indeed proud to have them under my command. I wish we could count on many more like them.
In 2014, the Borinqueneers received the Congressional Gold Medal and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Renaming this post office is another fitting tribute to those that gave so much on the battlefield. We respectfully request that this bill be reported out of committee as soon as possible. Thank you for your attention to this legislation.