Balangiga bells returned to Philippines by United States more than a century later

'Return of Balangiga Bells serve as closure of bitter past'

'Return of Balangiga Bells serve as closure of bitter past'

Both Romualdez and Lorenzana will be joining the President during the formal turnover of the three bells at the Villamor Air Base in Pasay City on Tuesday.

Photos released by the United States Embassy on Saturday showed two of the bells' journey home -after being removed from display at an air base in the western USA state of Wyoming to being loaded onto a truck for transportation.

This quote from philosopher George Santayana perhaps best summarizes the importance of the return of the Balangiga Bells to the Philippines by the U.S. government on Tuesday, more than a century after they were taken as war booty by USA colonial forces.

Romualdez then said that the two bells will be shipped to a facility in Philadelphia for restoration, before sending it to South Korea, where the third bell is located in a USA military museum. These bells were taken 117 years ago; later today it will be my honor to return them.

THE return of the three Balangiga bells will serve as a closure of the bitter past between the USA and the Philippines, Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said.

Armed with machetes, Filipinos killed 48 out of 78 American soldiers in Balangiga, handing the US Army one of its biggest defeats at the time.

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These bells represent the killing of over 40 American soldiers by Filipino fighters, as well as the massacre of thousands of Filipinos as ordered by General Jacob Smith who said, "I want no prisoners".

Citizens of the Philippines revere the bells as symbols of national pride.

"Good hearted individuals and groups labored for decades to bring the bells home.

Former presidents, Cabinet secretaries, Philippine and USA ambassadors, historians, philanthropists and many others worked tirelessly to raise awareness of the history of the bells and to advocate for their dignified return", Kim added.

"History reminds us that all wars end. In returning the Bells of Balangiga to our ally and our friend, the Philippines, we pick up our generation's responsibility to deepen the respect between our peoples", Mattis said in a bon-voyage ceremony at the F.E. Warren base last month.

With the return of the three bells, Romualdez said it is now appropriate for Duterte to return the USA gesture. The American soldiers seized all three bells from the Balangiga Church, and a 1557 cannon as war booty.

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