Afew months back, w hen the team and I were debating which key anniversaries we would elect to include this year, we were stunned by the realisation that the invasion of Iraq by the US-led multi-national ‘Coalition of the Willing’ was launched 20 years ago on March 20, 2003.
As a young teenager, I distinctly remember the scenes of ‘shock and awe’ as TV news streamed an uninterrupted feed from a night-vison camera in Baghdad, watching civilian traffic disappear from the motor ways shor tly before tracers rose into the sky and bombs rained down. I also remember the photograph in the newspapers the next day of flash, fire and smoke rising from presidential palace in Baghdad. It was the beginning of a hugely controversial militar y operation and occupation which, for British forces, continued until 2011. The fathers of some friends were involved in Iraq, and, after I turned 18 years later, a couple of friends of mine would be deployed to Iraq. Even so, it is hard to believe that 20 years has gone by.