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 
    3         Delete lines 7 - 90
    4  and insert:
    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,
   57  Be It Resolved by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   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.