US Returns 'Balangiga Bells' to Philippines after More Than a Century

US Returns 'Balangiga Bells' to Philippines after More Than a Century

"This symbolizes the courage and patriotism of the soldiers whose acts we would like to perpetuate with these bells", he said.

The president did not attend Tuesday's handover, but is due to speak at a ceremony Saturday in Balangiga when the bells - which weigh a combined 408 kilos (900 pounds) - will be given back to the church.

In reprisal, the USA commander Jacob Smith ordered the surrounding island of Samar be turned into a "howling wilderness", resulting in the slaughter of thousands of Filipinos and Balangiga's razing.

WAR SPOILS. The Balangiga Bells return to the Philippines 117 years after these were taken to America by USA troops. It was the greatest single defeat suffered by the Americans during the Filipino-American war.

US soldiers took the three bells in 1901, after a deadly battle in Balangiga, where they had reportedly rang to signal an ambush that killed 48 USA troops. Two of the bells had been displayed for decades at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and the third was with the U.S. Army in South Korea.

USA officials handed over the Bells of Balangiga to the Philippine defense chief in a solemn ceremony at Villamor Air Base near the nation's capital of Manila.

"That painful conflict soon ended, and our countries became partners and friends", said US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim.

"Having now served over two years as US Ambassador to the Philippines, I am convinced that our relationship remains ironclad, consecrated by the service and sacrifice of the Americans and Filipinos who fought side by side for freedom", Kim said.

A key factor was also major American veterans' associations, including the largest group Veterans of Foreign Wars, dropping their opposition to the bells being given back.

"It's time for healing, it is time for closure, it is time to look ahead as two nations should with a shared history as allies", stated Delfin Lorenzana, Filipino Secretary of National Defense. Army Gen. Jacob Smith infamously ordered his troops to kill any male in the region over the age of 10 and turn the area into a "howling wilderness".

Local religious leaders said they were grateful they were being returned in time to ring for Christmas services.

Almost 50 USA soldiers were killed in the assault on Balangiga on September 28, 1901.

U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis has said the handover is an important gesture of friendship and is in America's national security interest.

"To the Filipinos, the Balangiga ambush was an act of defiance from the oppression they suffered from the Americans, a defense of their dignity and their freedom".

The Philippine government has been asking for them back since 1993 - and Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte made a passionate plea for their return during his state of the union address in 2017.

Related Articles

  • US  prosecutors name Trump in hush payments; detail Russian contacts

    US prosecutors name Trump in hush payments; detail Russian contacts

    They said his sentence should reflect a "modest" reduction from the four to five years they said federal guidelines would suggest. Trump's team even reportedly tried to bribe Russian President Vladimir Putin by offering him a $50 million penthouse.
    Online Action RPG 'Dauntless' Coming to Xbox One in April 2019

    Online Action RPG 'Dauntless' Coming to Xbox One in April 2019

    Dubbed Frostfall , this will focus on reshaping the Shattered Isle and is available to players on December 6. It's great to see that this game will be cross-play between a variety of devices.
    SpaceX launches Dragon Cargo Ship, Rocket Landing for the First Time Failed

    SpaceX launches Dragon Cargo Ship, Rocket Landing for the First Time Failed

    Other experiments among the more than 250 on board include a new kind of mustard green lettuce that astronauts will grow in space. The main aim of the mission was a success, delivering the supplies to the orbiting space lab.
  • Ukraine accuses Russian Federation  of blockading Kerch Strait

    Ukraine accuses Russian Federation of blockading Kerch Strait

    Moscow and Washington are mutually accusing each other of violating the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF). Ukraine has introduced martial law in border and coastal areas for 30 days following the incident.
    Klopp ‘not one second worried’ about Salah’s early season form

    Klopp ‘not one second worried’ about Salah’s early season form

    We need to be happy about the chance we have. "And if not we'll congratulate Napoli and Paris, that's how it is". They know as well it will be tough, but they are strong and we need to be very strong.
    Trump Justice pick likely to be queried on Mueller comments

    Trump Justice pick likely to be queried on Mueller comments

    Sessions' chief of staff, Matthew Whitaker , was elevated to acting attorney general and took control of Mueller's investigation. Barr "will be nominated for the United States Attorney-General and hopefully that process will go very quickly", Mr.
  • Why Marriage Is Not on Miley Cyrus' Mind

    Why Marriage Is Not on Miley Cyrus' Mind

    Speaking to Andy Cohen on his Sirius XM show on Monday, Miley revealed: 'She's here in NY actually and we've been texting. I'm not doing drugs, I'm not drinking, I'm completely clean right now! "[Weed is] the most magical, fantastic thing".
    Google+ to shut down early after leak exposes 52m users

    Google+ to shut down early after leak exposes 52m users

    As a result, the Google+ shut-down has been moved up from August 2019 to April 2019. However, it was only around for six days before Google fixed the issue.
    Trump calls ex-secretary of state 'dumb as a rock'

    Trump calls ex-secretary of state 'dumb as a rock'

    He said that in an interview , not on Twitter , which I will note I was surprised to find out during the reporting of this story. Tillerson said Trump is "pretty undisciplined", "doesn't like to read", and repeatedly attempted to do illegal things.
  • How Technology Changed Gaming

    They are as popular as Fortnite’s second chapter that, according to techradar.com , will be talked about for some time. The gaming industry as a whole now has games with demanding graphics that can be played on a phone as well as on a computer.
    Lomachenko beats Pedraza to unify lightweight belts

    Lomachenko beats Pedraza to unify lightweight belts

    Lomachenko was not at his best, but he was good enough to lock up a convincing win on the cards at 119-107, 117-109 and 117-109. Pedraza answered back in the second, however, sneaking inside and landing a couple of uppercuts to the body of Lomachenko.
    Pot Sector Regains Its Mojo After Altria's $1.8 Billion Deal

    Pot Sector Regains Its Mojo After Altria's $1.8 Billion Deal

    Cronos surpassed Aphria's market value for the first time this week and is now more than C$1 billion larger than its competitor. Philip Morris International CEO Andre' Calantzopoulos discusses why his company is keeping clear of the cannabis industry.