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Return the Bells of Balangiga

Thursday, October 16, 2003
7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Event Type:
Rodel Rodis
Location Details:
St. Patricks Church Mission Street (b/w 3rd & 4th St) San Francisco

"A Memorial Service Commemorating the 102nd Anniversary Of the Taking of The Bells of Balangiga This Thursday, October 16, 7 pm" The Filipino American community wants the United States to return the Bells of Balangiga, to their church home in this small Philippine town. Today they are displayed as a "trophy of war" at the Warren Air Force base, near Cheyenne, Wyoming. Two days later, October 18, 2003, President George Bush and Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo meet in Manila. President Arroyo, will urge the return of the Bells of Balangiga to the Philippines. Media coverage of the San Francisco event is expected to appear the morning Bush arrives in Manila. THE STORY OF THE BELLS OF BALANGIGA The bells in the church in Balangiga signaled the townspeople to rise up against invading U.S. soldiers on September 28, 1901. That day, 48 American soldiers and 250 Filipinos died. Casualties, after many months, were estimated at 25,000. 102 years later the bells are displayed at the Warren Air Force Base near Cheyenne, Wyoming. Many now believe the time has come to return the bells. Earlier this month, Bishop Leonardo Y Medroso, DD, the Bishop of Borongan, said, "Records tell that the bells were the property of the Roman Catholic Church when they were taken by the U.S. Forces. They were church bells. They were religious artifacts with considerable significance in the Catholic tradition and practices. They summon people to prayer and worship. " Medroso continued, "As such, they were inappropriate trophies of war. If ever it is true that the rebels used them as instruments of war, they did that act without the proper permission from the proper authority or owner of the bells. The Diocese of Cebu, a Corporation sole, which was the rightful owner of the Church of Balangiga at the time of attack, did not give its permission to the rebels to use the bells for such a purpose." "These bells should keep my people in touch with the lives of their parents and grandparents, their past, their origin, their religious sentiments, their faith, their culture," said Bishop Medroso. "It is for this reason that through the years my people in Balangiga have been longing to have their Church Bells returned to their church."
Added to the calendar on Tue, Feb 3, 2004 10:24AM
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