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U.S. presents Bells of Balangiga to the Philippines

Jose Romualdez, Philippine Ambassador to the United States, Maj. Gen. Fred Stoss, 20th Air Force commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Thomas Good, 20th Air Force command chief, greets Defense Secetary James N. Mattis plade side Nov. 14, 2018, at Cheyenne Regional Airport, Wyo. Suring the Defense Secretary's visit to F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo., the Bells of Balangiga were officially presented to the Philippine government. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Abbigayle Wagner)

Philippine Ambassador to the U.S. Jose Romualdez, Maj. Gen. Fred Stoss, Twentyth Air Force commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Thomas Good, Twentyth Air Force command chief, greets Secetary of Defense James N. Mattis on the flightline at Cheyenne Regional Airport, Wyo., Nov. 14, 2018. Suring the secretary's visit to F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo., the Bells of Balangiga were officially presented to the Philippine government. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Abbigayle Wagner)

Jose Romualdez, Philippine Ambassador to the United States, and Defense Secretary James N. Mattis, stand for a photo, Nov. 14, 2018, in front of the bells of Balangiga on F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo. During the visit, the Bells of Balangiga were officially presented to the Philippine government. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Braydon Williams)

Philippine Ambassador to the U.S. Jose Romualdez and Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis, pose for a photo in front of the bells of Balangiga on F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo., Nov. 14, 2018. During the visit, the Bells of Balangiga were officially presented to the Philippine government. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Braydon Williams)

F.E. WARREN AIR FORCE BASE, Wyo. (AFNS) -- Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis and Philippine Ambassador to the U.S. Jose Romualdez visited F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Wyo., Nov. 14, during which the Bells of Balangiga were officially presented to the Philippine government.

During the visit, Mattis attended a veterans remembrance event and provided remarks on the presentation of the bells during an official ceremony.

In 1901, the Bells of Balangiga were used during an attack on an American garrison where 45 soldiers were killed. The 11th Infantry Division returned to America with the bells. Since 1904, the bells have been housed at F.E. Warren AFB, and in 1992 they became property of the U.S. Air Force Museum System.

“To those who fear we lose something by returning the bells please hear me when I say the bells mark time, but courage is timeless,” said Mattis. “It does not fade in history’s dimly lit corridors nor is it forgotten in history’s compost.”

Presenting the bells supports our nation’s continued partnership with the Philippines.

“History teaches us that nations with allies thrive,” said Mattis. “It reminds us too that all wars end. By returning the Bells of Balangiga to our ally and our friend the Philippines we pick up our generations responsibility to deepen the respect between our people.”

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