Puerto Rico National Cemetery
Photo added by Mildred Berríos McMahan

Puerto Rico National Cemetery

Bayamon, Bayamon Municipality , Puerto Rico, USA

About

  • Get directions Avenue Cementerio Nacional #50
    Bayamon, Bayamon Municipality, Puerto Rico, 00961 USA
  • Phone: 787-798-8400
  • Cemetery ID: 109435

This cemetery was founded on May 30, 1949 (Source: “El Mundo” (newspaper), Año 1949, Núm. 13547, pg. 5).

FAX: 787-785-7281

Office Hours: Monday thru Friday 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Visitation Hours: Open daily from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Open Memorial Day and Veterans Day from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
The Puerto Rico National Cemetery is located on the north side of the island in Bayamon, Puerto Rico, and is approximately 13 miles from San Juan, the capital. The cemetery serves as an American presence on the island and many distinguished Puerto Ricans who served in the U.S. military are interred there.

Prior to becoming a national cemetery, the land where the cemetery is now located was owned by the U.S. Navy and it was used as a machine gun range. After World War II, the land was transferred to the Department of the Army specifically for the construction of a new national cemetery. Negotiations for construction of the cemetery began after the land was transferred on July 12, 1948 and the private firm of Font & Montilla was contracted to build the cemetery.

The 108.2-acre cemetery was dedicated on Veteran’s Day in 1949 and it is the only national cemetery located in Puerto Rico. According to El Diario, the local newspaper, the dedication was attended by both local and military officials such as Luis Munoz-Marin, the Governor of Puerto Rico, and Major General Herman Feldman, the Quartermaster of the U.S. Army. In his remarks during the dedication, Feldman noted that, "practically every family in Puerto Rico had a representative in uniform during World War II." Since its dedication, Puerto Rico National Cemetery has been a shrine to Puerto Ricans who served in the armed forces.

The cemetery was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on Sept. 26, 1983.
Medal of Honor Recipients
The Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force that can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the Armed Services of the United States. Recipients receive the Medal of Honor from the president on behalf of Congress. It was first awarded during the Civil War and eligibility criteria for the Medal of Honor have changed over time.

Recipients buried or memorialized here:

Private First Class Fernando Luis Garcia-Ledesma (Korea). Fernando Luis Garcia-Ledesma, native of Puerto Rico, joined the U.S. Marine Corps on September 19, 1951. He served in Company I, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division. On September 5, 1952, less than a year in service, a wounded Garcia-Ledesma was under heavy attack from enemy forces while attempting to secure weapons. Without regard for personal safety he threw himself on a grenade and saved a comrade. Private First Class Garcia-Ledesma received the Medal of Honor posthumously on October 25, 1953. He is memorialized in Section MB, Site 3.

Sergeant Major Juan Enrique Negron-Martinez (Korea). Juan Enrique Negron-Martinez, native of Puerto Rico, enlisted in the U.S. Army in March 1948 and served in Company L, 65th Infantry Regiment, 3d Infantry Division. The 65th Infantry is known as the Borinqueneers, after the soldiers’ Puerto Rican heritage. On April 28, 1951, Sergeant Major Negron-Martinez took the most vulnerable position while fighting the enemy in Kalma-Eri, Korea. When his company began to withdraw, he continued his assault while the company organized and launched a counterattack. Negron-Martinez received numerous medals for his service and stayed in the army until March 1971. Negron-Martinez was awarded the Medal of Honor on March 18, 2014, posthumously. He died March 29, 1996, and is buried in Section J, Site 3180.

Captain Euripides Rubio, Jr. (Vietnam). Euripides Rubio, Jr., native of Puerto Rico, enlisted in the U.S. Army on March 18, 1959, and was a communications officer with Headquarters Company, 28th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division. On November 8, 1966, in Tay Ninh Province, Captain Rubio and his comrades were heavily attacked by enemy forces. Although injured twice, he assumed command and redirected an air strike before dying of his wounds, for which Rubio, Jr., received the Medal of Honor. He is buried in Section HSA, Site 5.

Advertisement

Photos

  • Added: 1 Jan 2000
  • Find a Grave Cemetery ID: 109435