The Bells of Balangiga

To commemorate the forty-eight men they lost in the battle of 1901—or perhaps to avenge them—American troops brought the three bells of Balangiga home from the Philippines with them. When President Donald Trump travels to Asia this November, he will meet with the president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, who recently called for the return of the bells. At the heart of the dispute is the question of how we ought to remember a little-known, inglorious war in which American and Filipino troops alike committed acts of valor and war crimes.

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