PuertoRicoWOW News Service
Senate Honors Memory Of Five Puerto Rican Veterans
By Proviana Colon Diaz
November 12, 2000
SAN JUAN - "The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here," said President Abraham Lincoln during his Gettysburg Address.
It is, however, in the hands of the people to never forget the brave men and women who lost their lives defending their country.
Perhaps that is why on the dawning of this Veteran's Day commemoration, Senate President Charlie Rodriguez unveiled the oil paintings of five Puerto Ricans worthy of the highest honors for their military service.
Four of those men received the National Medal of Honor from the U.S. Congress. Rodriguez identified them as Petty Officer Luis Fernando Garcia, Petty Officer Carlos James Lozada, Captain Euripides Rubio, and Fourth Class Specialist Hector Santiago Colon.
The fifth man honored by the Senate, Adm. Horacio Rivera, had the distinction of being the highest-ranking Puerto Rican officer in the Navy.
"A country that does not recognize nor thank those who abandoned their homes and their land for the good of their country are destined to be vanished. But on the contrary, those who honor the memory of the soldiers, who lost their lives and were buried in foreign lands, become stronger," Rodriguez said.
U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Kevin Green was the main speaker during Friday's ceremony at the Senate.
Green, who preferred not to use an already written speech for the occasion, said he was honored and proud of being in the "company of those who had the great nobility and sense to honor these five men in this way and in this place."
The Admiral added that the example set by the five Puerto Rican "heroes" is one that all military men live by everyday.
Friday's ceremony ended with a flower offering before the Memorial Monument on the south side of the Capitol.
The paintings were done by Puerto Rican painter Jose Galarza and Cuban born artist Zoila E. Diaz.
PHOTO Green and Rodriguez were at hand for the unveiling of the oil paintings of five Puerto Rican veterans and a flower offering at the Memorial Monument on the south side of the Capitol.