#ThrowbackThursday: Second Iraq War started 14 years ago

#ThrowbackThursday: Second Iraq War started 14 years ago


Fourteen years ago, the country anxiously waited to hear if Saddam Hussein would acquiesce to the deadline to leave Iraq or face war. After the 8 p.m. deadline passed on March 19, the United States launched an attack with cruise missiles and precision-guided bombs against targets in Baghdad.

The headline on the front page of the March 20, 2003 edition of the Record-Journal announced, in large print, “Opening shots.”

“This will not be a campaign of half measures and we will accept no outcome but victory,” President George W. Bush said in an address to the nation from the Oval Office shortly after the attack.

Saddam responded with defiance on state-run television.

“It’s an inferno that awaits them. Let them try their faltering luck and they shall meet what awaits them,” Hussein said.

At home, residents tried to understand the implications of the war. Many had relatives among the troops deployed directly in support of the war.

Some parents worried about students studying abroad and how they would be treated. Churches and other groups organized vigils and special prayer services.

Another story on the front page of the Record-Journal shared how the UConn Huskies tried to focus on the approaching NCAA tournament in the midst of the war.

“I find myself watching CNN and CNBC as much as ESPN,” UConn Coach Jim Calhoun said at the time. “We are playing basketball and we should be playing basketball. It’s our way of life and no tyrant should put a stop to that.”

Do you remember how you felt at the onset of the second Iraq War? Share your thoughts on MyRecordJournal.com


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