Memorial Day

What do you do to observe Memorial Day? Some of us visit cemeteries, decorating the graves of men and women who died in military service. Some enjoy beach and barbecue with family members, celebrate the start of summer, and check out the Memorial Day sales.  One thing you might not think about is political action. In fact, it makes sense to take some time over this holiday to take action in support of statehood for Puerto Rico.

The meaning of Memorial Day

Since the Civil War, Memorial Day has a been a day of remembrance for those who have died in military service. Veterans Day in November is a day to honor veterans and people still in service. For many people, though, the two days have begun to flow together. We think about our veterans on Memorial Day as well.

Puerto Rico has an impressive history of service in the U.S. military. Patriotic Puerto Ricans join the Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force at greater rates than those who live in the states.

More than 1,225 Puerto Ricans have given their lives to defend the United States.

The shocking truth

And yet these men and women who fight for the United States, defend the United States, and in some cases give their lives for he United States cannot note for their commander in chief.

They do not have the full protection of the U.S. Constitution.  They do not have full access to federal benefits. They do not have a full voice in American democracy — no U.S. senators and just one non-voting representative in the House for three million U.S. citizens.

This is clearly wrong.

The solution

The only road to justice and equality for Puerto Rico including servicemen and veterans, is statehood. So this Memorial Day, contact your representatives in Congress. Ask your friends and family who live in states to do so. Share your story with people who need more information to understand the issues.




One response

  1. GOD BLESS THE FALLEN that greatly sacrificed; died for our noble USA!
    BUT, facts are: that many of the fallen from the US Territory of Puerto Rico didn’t have Equal US Citizenship-Rights.
    THUS, Patriots-Support: EQUAL US Citizenship for ALL; END PR’s Federal UNDEMOCRATIC Status! (Summary)
    Since 1898 (for over 125+ years), the Federal Government has kept the US Territory of Puerto Rico (PR)-(with more US Citizens than 21 States) under undemocratic control (with NO Federal “consent of the governed”) as we demand Equal Rights-Fairness for all “WE THE PEOPLE”; revocation of unjust Laws; a NON-Territorial Status!

    Focus on FACTS–Today, millions of 2d class US Citizens-US Veterans (part of “We the People”) in PR have—
    NO Vote for US President; NO just Representation in US Congress; NO Parity in Federal Laws, Programs, or Funding (like for Veterans, Social Security, MEDICARE, MEDICAID, Infrastructure, Education, SSI, and other programs) that other US Citizens fully get; NO permanent statutory US Citizenship (even if moving to a State)…!
    Plus, the Federal Government unfairly controls PR’s Borders, Currency, Laws, Security, Economy, Trade, etc.—under the old Territorial Clause (of 1787); unjust racist Insular Cases (of 1901-1925+); other biased Laws—where, incongruently, the US Constitution is not fully applied to US Citizens-US Veterans in Puerto Rico!

    Besides, Puerto Ricans face a magna CRISIS; Exodus to the States–which major ROOT components are: Jobs, Economy, Security, Infrastructure, and unfair Territorial Status—where each PART affects the other. The Federal undemocratic Territorial status affects everything; brings instability…; ties PR’s Hands to fairly compete-grow the Economy; limits progress; goes against our US Democratic core values & principles; is Un-American!

    “The Federal Government should be the Servant of ALL the People; NOT the Master of some!”
    This is a Patriotic just cause! The People with Equal US Citizenship/ Rights come first, not a “separate & unequal” biased Status! In our US Republic, the power should reside with all “We the People” (made up by Individuals)–per our Declaration of Independence that calls for “Consent of the Governed”; noble US Constitution that calls for Equal Rights-Fairness, and a Republican form of Government or a Representative Democracy!

    “NO Federal VOTE or just Representation; results in NO Democracy or a Tyranny of a Majority!”
    Our Federal Government can end this unjust inequity now, but, has not done so! It, incongruently doesn’t act to end PR’s Federal undemocratic Territorial Status; or amend/ revoke unjust-unequal Laws that limit Progress. Instead, some generalize; politically distort; provide biased/racist EXCUSES that blame the Victim; create double standards not applied to Other Citizens-resulting in confusion & stalemate that perpetuates Federal subjugation!
    Puerto Ricans Sacrifice & Contribute to our USA since 1513!

    Hispanic US Puerto Ricans (PR) are about 10m strong (most live in the States) as they are integrated; greatly sacrifice, and loyally contribute (in all fields of endeavor) to our diverse USA; have patriotically shed sweat, blood, and tears for our US Flag (WWI; WW-II; Korea; Vietnam; Global War on Terrorism). Also, PR has a better GDP than 14 States; pays more Federal taxes than 6 States; is a US Market that creates about a million US Jobs…
    PR Ancestors (1st Governor of PR/Crew) came from PR to Florida (in 1513)-107 years before the Pilgrims; others fought in the US War of Independence (1776); brought Christianity and other good things to our now USA.

    “Silence to discrimination; supports injustice!”
    US Citizens in PR have voted to END the Territorial-Colonial Status, per local Plebiscites (2012, 2017 & 2020) where Statehood won; Independence got only 2-5% of the Vote… Puerto Ricans have proven loyalty to our US; cherish their US Citizenship! Yet, Congress doesn’t do Right for Equal Citizenship!

    FIX: Take Civic ACTION-get our Federal Government to: ensure Equal US Citizenship-Rights; END Federal undemocratic control of PR; do a PR Plebiscite on viable Non-Territorial Options which only are: STATEHOOD vs INDEPENDENCE (Without or With a Free Association Pact)
    Our US (a diverse Union of Sovereign States) is the best in the World—where each State complements each other; is stronger than by itself …! UNITED, under US Constitution/Flag, brings more Progress–for the Good of All!

    “En la UNIÓN está la Fuerza!”
    Only Statehood guarantees a permanent statutory US Citizens (even if residing in a State)! Thus, all statutory US Citizens have a Stake in the Fight as our US Congress must also, protect them in any Plebiscite!

    “Equality for a more perfect UNION!”
    Hispanic-Puerto Ricans are being treated unjustly by their Federal Government-Legislative, Executive & Judicial-that, at times, misinterpret our US Constitution that today, WE OWN! Plus, some Politicians say: “All People are Equal” but, mean: “Some People (in power) are more Equal than Others”! In our US Republic– the power should reside with “a Government of the People, by the People, and for the People” (President Lincoln)!

    “Patriots call for EQUALITY; FAIRNESS; JUSTICE!”
    You can’t have both ways (either support Equality or discrimination)! THE TIME IS NOW for Civic ACTION: demand our Federal Government ensures Equal US Citizenship-Civil Rights; a Representative Democracy for all:
    1. Short Term-Let the People VOTE-Do a PR Plebiscite on properly defined/viable Non-Territorial Options:
    *STATEHOOD-MEANS: Admission to our diverse “UNION of STATES”– under US Constitution/ Laws/ Democracy; EQUAL US Citizenship with full Rights, Benefits, and Responsibilities; with PR-STATE Identity, Constitution, Flag, Sovereignty… as other States & other US Citizens have…
    *INDEPENDENCE- MEANS: Puerto Rico National Sovereignty; PR Constitution/Laws, PR Citizenship…; with loss of US Constitution & statutory US Citizenship, Rights, and Benefits…
    *INDEPENDENCE with Free Association PACT-MEANS: Puerto Rico National Sovereignty; PR Constitution/ Laws, PR Citizenship…; with loss of US Constitution & statutory US Citizenship, Rights, and Benefits… But, with a negotiated PACT between Independent Nations on Terms (like trade, defense, etc.) that can be terminated by either side.
    2. Revoke un-just Laws (like the racist “Insular Cases”, 1920 Jones Act…); Incorporate Puerto Rico.
    3. Amend US Constitution (USC); adopt: “US Citizens’ Equal Rights-Protection Clause” that treats all US Citizens equally-no matter the residency, under our noble US Flag! (Enclosed Draft)
    4. Revoke or Amend the “Territorial Clause” with a “Status” limit; more rights, etc. (Enclosed Draft)
    UNITED-with Truth, Reason, and Civic Action for the Good of All-Family, USA, and Humanity!
    (DENNIS O. FREYTES (MPA, MHR, BBA)-FL Veterans Hall of Fame; Community Servant Leader)

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