Balangiga Bells & 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of the Philippines

Photos by Democrats Abroad (DA) Philippines Events Committee Member Bing Gelman shows Speaker Dan Larsen presenting his history talk on the Balangiga Bells with information about the 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of the Philippines by American and Filipino forces to attendees on November 16, 2019 at the Elks Club, Makati City.

DA Philippines held a speaker event history talk on the Balangiga Bells with information about the 75th Anniversary of the Liberation of the Philippines by American and Filipino forces (Leyte Landing) on Saturday November 16, 2019 from 3:30-5:30pm at the Elks Club, 7th Floor Corinthian Plaza Building, Paseo de Roxas corner Legaspi Street, Legaspi Village, Makati City, given by retired US Foreign Service Officer and Filipino-American Memorial Endowment (FAME) Board Member Dan Larsen.

The Balangiga Bells are three church bells the US Army took from the Church of San Lorenzo de Martir in Balangiga, Eastern Samar, Philippines, following the Balangiga massacre in 1901 during the Philippine-American War. After over a century, the Bells are back in the Philippines.

Larsen's presentation and discussion examined the twists and turns involved in the history of US custody of these war trophies and their delayed return to the Philippines 117 years after the end of the 1898-1901 Philippine-American War. Taken in 1901 from a Philippine church belfry destroyed on Samar Province--not by war, but by retaliations--their delayed return closed a long-standing irritant in US-Philippine relations.

75 years--and some still remember--the Philippines and the United States commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Liberation of the Philippines during World War II, from MacArthur's return in Leyte in October 1944 until General Yamashita's September 1945 surrender. Larsen also reviewed ways to participate in commemorating events leading up to the end of that war.

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Democrats Abroad is the official organization of the Democratic Party for US citizens living permanently or temporarily abroad. The organization is given state-level recognition by the Democratic National Committee (DNC), with eight positions on the DNC, and sends a voting delegation to the Democratic National Convention to select our presidential candidate.

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