Two of the Balangiga bells are located at the F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, Wyoming. The church bells taken as war booty by American colonial forces in 1901 will arrive in the Philippines on December 11.
Balangiga bells back in the Philippines on December 11
( - December 4, 2018 - 11:18am

MANILA, Philippines — The Balangiga bells, which were taken by American soldiers as war booty in 1901, will finally return home to the Philippines in December.

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana confirmed that the church bells will arrive in the country by next week.

"On December 11, the Balangiga bells will arrive in Villamor Air Base aboard [United States Air Force] aircraft. We don't know if it's a C-130 or another aircraft but 9 a.m.," Lorenzana said in an interview with CNN Philippines' "The Source" Tuesday morning.

Last November 15, a military ceremony was held at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, Wyoming, where two of the church bells are located.

Ambassador to the US Jose Manuel Romualdez and US Defense Secretary James Mattis attended the ceremony, which formally marked the beginning of the repatriation of the bells.

"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 people," Mattis said.

The Philippine government expressed its appreciation for Washington after announcing the return of the bells, which were once used as a signal to attack American troops in the town of Balangiga in Eastern Samar.

The Philippines also paid tribute to both Filipino and American soldiers who fought in World War II.

"The significance of this event is the fact that we honor all of those and the kind of relationship that we have with the United States," Romualdez said, adding that the return of the Balangiga bells signify closure of the Filipino-American war. — Patricia Lourdes Viray

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