CHEYENNE, Wyo. – The United States should not return church bells taken as war booty from the Philippines more than a century ago, Wyoming of the congressional delegation said Monday.
It is a position in the state of Wyoming officials have often repeated over the years amid the reports of the Bells of Balangiga were to be repatriated. This time, however, the US Department of Defense seems intent on following through.
Minister of defence James Mattis wrote to members of Congress at the weekend said it was “in the interest of the national security of the United States” to return on the bells.
Two of the Bells of Balangiga at F. E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, Wyoming. The third is with the U.S. Army in South Korea.
AMERICAN soldiers of the Army took the clocks after an attack on the island of Samar in the 48 U.s. troops were killed in 1901.
“These bells are memorials to the war, the death, and may not be transferred to the Philippines,” the Republican delegation of the U.S. Sens. Mike Enzi and John Barrasso, and the USA. Rep. Liz Cheney, said in a joint statement Monday.
Most AMERICAN veterans oppose the return of the bells to the Philippines and the delegation oppose any attempt by President Donald Trump of the administration of the return of the bells without veteran support, ” the statement said.
Groups, including the American Legion and the Republican Gov. Matt Mead at the back of the clocks then the idea came in 2012, when President Barack Obama.
This time, the Ministry of Defence consulted at length with veterans’ service organizations about a possible return of the bells, Mattis wrote.
Filipinos revere the bells as a symbol of national pride, and President Rodrigo Duterte has repeatedly called for their return. Less Filipino combatants died than the Americans in Balangiga attack, but perhaps five times more than the 4,200 Americans were killed in the course of the 1899-1902 Filipino-American War. The war also killed 100,000 or more citizens, according to some estimates.
U. S. Air Force officials did not respond to a message seeking comment on Monday.
The two bells in Wyoming and was followed by a U. S. Army infantry regiment, on the basis of Samar during the US occupation. The 11th Infantry came in 1904, at Fort D. A. Russell, who in 1930 became Fort Francis E. Warren, and in 1949 F. E. Warren Air Force Base.
The third bell was followed by the 9th Infantry to the Camp of Red Cloud in South Korea.
Follow Mead Gruver on https://twitter.com/meadgruver