“[The 65th Infantry Memorial] continues to be one of the most important symbols of Osceola County’s Latinization and a significant political victory for some of the South’s newest residents.”
The phone call about the park came one afternoon in February 2011. Michael, a retired resident of Buenaventura Lakes (bvl), a majority–Puerto Rican suburb twenty miles south of Disney World, was on the other line. He was calling to inform me that he was called a “racist” and “stupid” by our District 2 commissioner during the afternoon meeting. His call caught me off guard, and I wasn’t sure how to respond, so I apologized sympathetically. But when we hung up the phone, I went online to stream the public footage of the weekly Osceola County commission meeting. One of the five county commissioners, John “Q” Quiñones, a native of Puerto Rico, introduced a proposal to revamp and re-name 33.6 acres of county property located in bvl—formerly the Walk-N-Stick Executive Golf Course—as the 65th Infantry Veteran’s Park. Michael, a Vietnam veteran, objected to the park’s name.