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POLL: Should U.S. Return the Balangiga Bells?


491 votes were cast.


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JEason Inactive Member writes:

No comparison to other nations is needed in this case. No justification of time and place applies. Commentary on the current political climate is out of place. The United States' friends, my friends, in the Philippines have asked for something within our power to do. We should do it.

I have served with Filipino troops, and with Filipino nationals in the US armed forces. If only for these individuals, the bells should be returned.


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©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
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VOTING RESULTS
AnswerVotes%Chart
return them all
235
48%
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return some of them
22
4%
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give a replica
4
1%
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keep the bells
187
38%
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no opinion
43
9%
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POLL IS CLOSED
POLL DESCRIPTION

The United States' first colonial war took place in the Philippines, when in 1899 fighting broke out between American occupying troops and Filipino forces. One of the best-known events of the Philippine-American War (also known as the Philippine Insurrection) took place at Balangiga, a coastal city on the island of Samar. Native guerillas launched a surprise attack on U.S. garrison troops in what became known as the Balangiga Massacre. As church bells pealed, hundreds of Filipino freedom fighters disguised as women mourners and carrying coffins filled with bolos attacked a company of U.S. troops who were caught off guard as they lined up for breakfast.

The U.S. responded with a campaign to pacify Samar island, and the church bells of Balangiga (and other church bells in the region) were taken as trophies of war. Several Balangiga bells are currently on display at Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, Wyoming. The actual church bell from Balangiga, however, is believed to be at a U.S. base in Korea.

Philippine authorities have asked for the return of the bells, pointing out that the U.S. has previously returned the bells of Nagasaki, Japan. They say that religious items should never be prizes of war. American veteran groups oppose returning the objects, pointing out that the bell was used as a signal by the Filipino insurgents.

The Balangiga Bells in Wyoming

Should the U.S. return the Balangiga Bells?