U.S. envoy visits Balangiga bells

United States Ambassador to the Philippines MaryKay Carlson visited Eastern Samar to view the Balangiga bells, which the US government finally agreed to return to the Philippines in 2018.

“These bells have witnessed the entire arc of history between our countries — from the painful conflict of the early 1900s when we were adversaries to the moment four years ago when they were finally returned to the Filipino people with whom we now stand as friends, partners and allies,” Carlson said.

“The return of the bells reflects the strong bonds and mutual respect between our two nations and our peoples. These bells are more than just historical objects. They represent the quest for identity, sovereignty, and freedom,” she added.

Carlson was accompanied by US Army Col. Edward Evans, the senior US defense official in the Philippines and met Balangiga Mayor Dana Flynch de Lira and parish priests Fr. Serafin Tybaco and Fr. Manuel Lunario.

To recall, the Balangiga bells were taken by American soldiers as war trophies during the Philippine-American war in 1901 as part of their retaliation after Filipino soldiers ambushed 54 American soldiers using bolos.

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