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U.S. Marines pull down the statue of Saddam Hussein. Photo by Mirrorpix/Getty Images
BAGHDAD | The toppling of a statue of Saddam Hussein, marking the fall of Baghdad to U.S.-led coalition forces, did not escape controversy when a U.S. Marine temporarily draped an American flag over the statue’s head and an Army report showed the statue’s fall was not as spontaneous as it appeared.
Nonetheless, the image taken on April 9, 2003, in Baghdad’s Firdos Square came to symbolize the freedom of Iraqis from Saddam’s regime.
A group of Iraqi artists erected another statue in its place two months later. The 23-foot sculpture portrays an Iraqi family holding a crescent moon and sun.
Statue in Baghdad’s Firdos Square. Photo by Larisa Epatko
The NewsHour is in Iraq reporting on the country’s challenges in security, public services and politics as U.S. combat forces depart. We’re also revisiting sites made famous — or infamous — by the war.
Larisa Epatko produced multimedia web features and broadcast reports with a focus on foreign affairs for the PBS NewsHour. She has reported in places such as Jordan, Pakistan, Iraq, Haiti, Sudan, Western Sahara, Guantanamo Bay, China, Vietnam, South Korea, Turkey, Germany and Ireland.
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