Ten years ago Tuesday, two F-117 Stealth fighters and nearly 40 cruise missiles targeted a farm that former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein was thought to be visiting. The next day, coalition troops at the border crossed into the country.
In an address just after the war began, President George W. Bush said the country’s mission was “to disarm Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, to end Saddam Hussein's support for terrorism, and to free the Iraqi people.”
Of course, bitter experience would come to cast a shadow over those goals. Weapons of mass destruction were never found. No meaningful connection to al-Qaeda was ever uncovered. And violence that continues to this day could be as oppressive as a dictator’s rule. In the end, the promising six-week invasion turned into a nearly nine-year slog with dwindling public support.
During that time, the war came home to Patch communities. Residents across the metro deployed to Iraq and then came back and shared their experiences with their communities. Some returned with traumatic injuries. Others didn’t return at all.
But residents responded by joining together to support service members and their families. Communities across the state launched Yellow Ribbon groups, as happened in Inver Grove Heights and the west metro.
With the 10th anniversary upon us, Patch wants to hear your thoughts on the Iraq War. Where were you when the war began? How did it touch your life? What does it all mean now that it’s over?
Share your thoughts in the comments below.