APRIL 13, 2016 – UNVEILING CEREMONY OF CONGRESSIONAL GOLD MEDAL

On Wednesday, April 13, 2016,  the Unveiling Ceremony will take place at 3:00pm at Emancipation Hall in the Capitol Visitor Center in Washington, DC to present the Congressional Gold Medal collectively to the 65th Infantry Regiment, known as the “Borinqueneers”, in recognition of its pioneering military service, devotion to duty, and many acts of valor in the face of adversity.

There are still thousands of 65th veterans alive.  But due to the limited space at the Hall, only 225 veterans will be invited by Congress to attend the Ceremony.  Family members accompanying the veterans can view the Ceremony from an adjacent overflow room which will be transmitting a live broadcast on speaker.gov/live.  CORRECTION:  A viewing room is available at the Hilton Crystal City Hotel Ballroom, 2399 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, Virginia.  There is no adjacent overflow room at the U.S. Capitol.  

According to the Borinqueneers Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony National Committee, Borinqueneers veterans must be properly vetted to be included in their official roster in order to be invited and allowed entrance to the Ceremony premises.  They must have registered and provided proof of 65th Infantry service.  No exceptions.

El Pozo Productions has shared its list of 65th veterans from those veterans and their families who sent us Census Forms with proof of 65th service.  But our list is only one list of several that are being combined.  We do not know who will be invited. 

If you are invited and wish to attend, we encourage you to make travel accommodations quickly since that is a busy tourist time for Washington, DC.  Call 703-418-6800 for a special rate of $269 per night at the Hilton Crystal City near Reagan Airport (which has an airport shuttle) and mention Group Code: BOR.

The Borinqueneers who will be attending the Ceremony can meet at the Hilton Crystal City Hotel, 2399 Jefferson Davis Highway, Arlington, Virginia to be transported to the Capitol Hill Visitors Center for the Ceremony.  The veterans are also free to arrive at the Center located at the U.S. Capitol, Washington, DC on their own.

In the morning of April 13th, there will be wreath-laying ceremonies in Arlington National Cemetery at the Korean War and the World War II Memorials, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the Borinqueneers Memorial (Section 21 behind the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier). These events are open to the public.  See the Ceremony Schedule here:  http://bcgmceremony.org/ceremony-schedule.html.

In the evening, a Borinqueneers Award Reception will take place at the Hilton Crystal City Hotel from 7:00 pm to 12:00 am where replica medals will be awarded to the veterans.  The awards reception is by invitation only and there will be a cost of $135.00 (CORRECTION: PRICE HAS BEEN REDUCED TO $35) per person for non-65th veterans. You must RSVP and pay in advance by emailing samrodriguez@msn.com or calling (202) 246-9167.

For those 65th veterans who do not attend the Washington, DC Ceremony, there will probably be local ceremonies scheduled later to award them replica medals. 

PUERTO RICO CEREMONY – In Puerto Rico, the Borinquen-eers will have the opportunity to see the Medal and be recognized for their service.  The 65th Infantry Regiment Association will hold a recognition ceremony for them and their families on the grounds of the El Morro Fortress in Old San Juan on April 27, 2016.  At the ceremony, the Secretary of the Veterans Administration, Mr Robert A. McDonald will present the Congressional Gold Medal to the members of the 65th infantry. The event will be open to the general public.

FUNDRAISING – Meantime, the Ceremony National Committee is continuing its PHASE ONE fundraising campaign to help defray the costs related to the planning of the Gold Medal Ceremony which include the purchase of replica medals, a Reception and transportation costs for some of the veterans in need.  All financial contributions will be prioritized depending on availability of funds.  After the Unveiling, fundraising will continue for PHASE TWO which will include costs for the BCGM National Tour and Exhibit, and a national education outreach program.  Corporate sponsors should request the Sponsorship Proposal with the various levels and benefits available.

How can you help?  Sadly, the community has not responded as enthusiastically with financial donations as they did in suppor-ting the grassroots movement to obtain the Congressional Gold Medal for our veterans.  All eyes will be on us and how well we pay tribute to our veterans for this once-in-a-lifetime event where many of the costs are not covered by Congress.  Now is when we need your help most of all!  Please donate and encourage your family and friends to also donate.

 Send your tax-deductible contribution via:

The BCGM Ceremony National Committee has been working tirelessly to produce a “Once in a Lifetime” event to remember.  Regrettably, the timeframe to raise funds, lack of interest from the community, congressional protocols that are in place to withhold dissemination of information until the last minute were to their detriment and provided insufficient time to give a deserving presentation/reception to the Borinqueneers after the unveiling ceremony.

The National Committee is an all-volunteer organization with one mission and vision in mind: to pay tribute, promote the legacy and educate the nation about our heroes, The Borinqueneers.

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