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Bells in Wyo. sensitive in US-Philippine relations

By Mead Gruver
Associated Press / June 7, 2012
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CHEYENNE, Wyo.—Military veterans are speaking up on the possibility that the U.S. might repatriate three church bells seized as war booty from the Philippines more than a century ago.

Their opinion? Don't even think about it.

Two of the three Bells of Balangiga (BAL'-uhn-GHEE'-gah) are displayed at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne. They're part of a memorial to 46 U.S. troops killed by Filipino insurgents in 1901. A third bell is with a U.S. Army regiment in South Korea.

Filipinos revere the bells as symbols of their long struggle for independence. The bells gave the signal for insurgents to attack the U.S. troops occupying Balangiga.

New discussion about repatriating the bells has prompted Wyoming's governor and congressional representatives to tell the Obama administration keep the bells where they are.

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