65TH INFANTRY REGIMENT POST OFFICE BUILDING; Congressional Record Vol. 165, No. 120
(House of Representatives - July 17, 2019)

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[Pages H5957-H5958]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




              65TH INFANTRY REGIMENT POST OFFICE BUILDING

  Mr. ROUDA. Madam Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass the 
bill (H.R. 2325) to designate the facility of the United States Postal 
Service located at 100 Calle Alondra in San Juan, Puerto Rico, as the 
``65th Infantry Regiment Post Office Building''.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The text of the bill is as follows:

                               H.R. 2325

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

     SECTION 1. 65TH INFANTRY REGIMENT POST OFFICE BUILDING.

       (a) Designation.--The facility of the United States Postal 
     Service located at 100 Calle Alondra in San Juan, Puerto 
     Rico, shall be known and designated as the ``65th Infantry 
     Regiment Post Office Building''.
       (b) References.--Any reference in law, map, regulation, 
     document, paper, or other record of the United States to the 
     facility referred to in subsection (a) shall be deemed to be 
     a reference to the ``65th Infantry Regiment Post Office 
     Building''.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from 
California (Mr. Rouda) and the gentleman from Pennsylvania (Mr. Keller) 
each will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from California.


                             General Leave

  Mr. ROUDA. Madam Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members 
may have 5 legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks 
and include extraneous material on this measure.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the 
gentleman from California?
  There was no objection.
  Mr. ROUDA. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Madam Speaker, I am pleased to join my colleagues in consideration of 
H.R. 2325, to designate the facility of the United States Postal 
Service located at 100 Calle Alondra San Juan, Puerto Rico, as the 65th 
Infantry Regiment Post Office Building.
  In 1899, a year after the Spanish-American War, Congress authorized 
the creation of a unit of volunteer soldiers in the new territory of 
Puerto Rico. Redesignated in 1920 as the 65th Infantry Regiment of the 
United States Army, this unit served admirably in World War II and the 
Korean war.
  In World War II, the 65th Infantry Regiment suffered casualties 
defending against enemy attacks, with regiment members earning one 
Distinguished Service Cross, two Silver Stars, two Bronze Stars, and 90 
Purple Hearts.
  In the Korean war, when General MacArthur ordered the evacuation of 
the Hungnam enclave, the 65th Infantry Regiment played a crucial role, 
and ultimately, under the Regiment's protection, 105,000 troops and 
100,000 refugees were evacuated.
  These brave Americans protected the very foundation of this great 
country. Naming a post office to honor the 65th Infantry Regiment who 
served and sacrificed for us is but a small price of what these brave 
men and women deserve from the country to whom they have given so much.
  Madam Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. KELLER. Madam Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

[[Page H5958]]

  Madam Speaker, I yield as much time as she may consume to the 
gentlewoman from Puerto Rico (Miss Gonzalez-Colon), my friend.

                              {time}  1615

  Miss GONZALEZ-COLON of Puerto Rico. Madam Speaker, I thank Mr. Keller 
for the opportunity.
  I am very humbled but, at the same time, very proud to rise in 
support of H.R. 2325, legislation that I introduced to designate the 
United States Postal Service facility located at 100 Calle Alondra in 
San Juan, Puerto Rico, as the ``65th Infantry Regiment Post Office 
Building.''
  Shortly after Puerto Rico became a U.S. territory in 1898, Congress 
authorized the creation of a unit of volunteer soldiers on the island. 
Then, in 1920, the unit was redesignated as the 65th Infantry Regiment 
of the United States Army, and it served as the Nation's last 
segregated unit, composed mainly of Hispanic soldiers coming from 
Puerto Rico.
  Members of this regiment--commonly known as The Borinqueneers after 
the Taino word for ``Puerto Rico'' meaning ``land of the brave lord''--
represent the best of our island's proud and rich tradition of military 
service.
  Despite their relatively limited combat service in World War II, the 
regiment suffered casualties defending against enemy attacks. 
Individual soldiers from this unit earned one Distinguished Service 
Cross, two Silver Stars, two Bronze Stars, and 90 Purple Hearts.
  However, it was during the Korean war that the 65th Infantry 
Regiment's patriotism and courage came to be widely known and admired.
  Fighting as a segregated unit from 1950 until 1952, the Borinqueneers 
participated in some of the fiercest and toughest battles of the war.
  The Borinqueneers not only fought the enemy on the battlefield, but 
they also had to overcome negative stereotypes held by some of their 
commanders and fellow soldiers.
  Brigadier General William Harris, who commanded the regiment during 
the early stages of the Korean war, would recall that he had been 
reluctant to assume command of the unit just because of the prejudice 
within the military, but that his experience eventually led him to 
regard the members of the 65th Infantry Regiment as the best soldiers 
he had ever seen.
  General Douglas MacArthur, commander in chief of the United Nations 
Command in Korea, would similarly write that ``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, their invincible loyalty to the United States and 
their fervent devotion to those immutable principles of human relations 
which the Americans of the continent and Puerto Rico have in common. 
They are writing a brilliant record of heroism in battle, and I am 
indeed proud to have them under my command. I wish that we could count 
on many more like them.''
  For its extraordinary service during the Korean war, the 
Borinqueneers received many unit-level awards, including two 
Presidential Unit Citations. Soldiers in the regiment earned a total of 
nine Distinguished Service Crosses, approximately 250 Silver Stars, 
over 600 Bronze Stars, and more than 2,700 Purple Hearts.
  Even 60 years later the laurels continued, as Master Sergeant Juan 
Negron, who served in the 65th Infantry Regiment, was posthumously 
awarded the Medal of Honor, our Nation's highest military decoration.
  In 2014, actually, this same House enacted legislation to award the 
Congressional Gold Medal to the Borinqueneers. The 65th, consequently, 
became the first Hispanic unit and the sole unit from the Korean war to 
receive this distinction, and they were the last unit to launch a 
battalion-sized bayonet attack by the U.S. Army.
  Madam Speaker, H.R. 2325 allows us to continue honoring the 
Borinqueneers' service by designating the U.S. Post Office in San Juan 
as the ``65th Infantry Regiment Post Office Building.''
  This recognition is made even more significant when considering that 
this Federal building is located adjacent to one of Puerto Rico's main 
avenues. Do you know the name? It is the 65th Infantry Regiment Avenue. 
That is how proud we feel about our Borinqueneers.
  The story of these soldiers is emblematic of the courage of thousands 
of Puerto Rican soldiers who, for generations, have fought and bled 
alongside their fellow Americans to defend the United States across the 
world.
  Madam Speaker, as Puerto Rico's sole representative in this Congress, 
I urge my colleagues to join me in further recognizing their sacrifice, 
their legacy, by supporting this bill.
  Mr. ROUDA. Madam Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. KELLER. Madam Speaker, I think that Representative Gonzalez-Colon 
articulately pointed out why we should all support H.R. 2325.
  Madam Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support this legislation, and 
I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. ROUDA. Madam Speaker, I, too, encourage my colleagues to support 
this bill.
  Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the gentleman from Pennsylvania 
for leading the minority discussion today, the newest Member of 
Congress. It is an honor to serve with him.
  Madam Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the 
gentleman from California (Mr. Rouda) that the House suspend the rules 
and pass the bill, H.R. 2325.
  The question was taken; and (two-thirds being in the affirmative) the 
rules were suspended and the bill was passed.
  A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.

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