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Balangiga Bells Finally Returned To The Philippines More Than A Century After US Clash

After 117 years on international soil, the church bells are finally coming home.

The Balangiga bells are finally coming home after more than a century on US soil. The church bells were taken as war trophies during one of the bloodiest events in Philippine history. However, the US has agreed to return the bells to put an end to a major conflict.

Jose Manuel Romualdez, the Philippine Ambassador to the United States, was at the Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming for the official turnover ceremony. It was conducted by US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. During the ceremony, two of the three Balangiga bells were returned to the Philippines. The third one is still at a US Army museum in South Korea.

Romualdez and Mattis at the turnover ceremony.

Mattis reportedly said, “Ambassador, these bells are now officially going to return to the Philippines.” He also defended the move to return the war trophies, saying that the sacrifices of US forces would never be forgotten.

“To those who fear we lose something by returning these bells, please hear me when I say: Bells mark time, but courage is timeless. It does not fade in history’s dimly lit corridors.”

The return of the Balangiga bells certainly proved controversial. Several senators opposed the move while others questioned why Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte was not present at the turnover ceremony.

Mattis and Romualdez inspect the Balangiga bells one more time before the turnover.

The bells represent a darker time in Philippine history. The items were taken after the September 28, 1901 clash between Company C of the 9th U.S. Infantry Regiment and Filipino militants in the village of Balangiga in Eastern Samar. It is reported that at least one of the bells was rung to signal the attack.

Balangiga was turned into a battlefield after villagers defended a woman who was being harassed by drunk soldiers. The fight against Company C members resulted in US President Theodore Roosevelt ordering the pacification of the entire village although the bloodshed occurred throughout Samar. The total number of innocent lives lost to the massacre is still unknown.

The decision to return the Balangiga bells is set to be a step towards bolstering US-Philippines’ relations. The third bell is expected to be turned over before the end of the year.


Here’s How Ancient Romans Constructed Buildings That Last For Centuries

Find out how the ancient Romans made concrete that can withstand the test of time.

People are still amazed by the beauty of stunning structures like the Pantheon and the Colosseum. But how did the ancient Romans manage to create buildings that can last for several centuries? A group of geologists, archaeologists, and engineers are actually studying the amazing properties of the long-lasting concrete.

The longevity of ancient Roman concrete is made even more astounding by the fact that it is weaker than its modern-day counterpart. Nevertheless, structures built using the ancient concrete are not easily destroyed. Interestingly, the formula's secret is one of nature's most amazing products.

The Romans may have used a secret ingredient to make the Pantheon last forever.


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Oldest Intact Shipwreck In The World Discovered In The Black Sea

It has been perfectly preserved for the past 2,400 years!

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Scientists were thrilled to find the world's oldest shipwreck.


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Why Do People Carve Scary Faces on Pumpkins During Halloween?

Apparently, there’s a dark, twisted story behind the tradition.

When it comes to Halloween celebrations, perhaps nothing is as ubiquitous as the carved pumpkins. Sure, we see bats, spider webs, skeletons, and a host of horror characters but no party or home decor is ever complete unless we have those Jack O’Lanterns.

But do you know the real story behind this iconic Halloween staple? Well apparently, it has a dark, twisted tale.


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