When a regime came tumbling down; the fall of Baghdad

Five years ago Wednesday, U.S. forces entered the heart of the Iraqi capital, and Saddam Hussein's regime fell.

While much of the world watched the downfall of Hussein and the destruction of his huge statue in central Baghdad's Firdos Square on television, Iraqis lived it. They have memories of what they were feeling as Hussein was toppled from power. Here are some of them:

'The Americans will fix everything'
By Caesar Ahmed

My family fled the capital days before the Americans arrived and went to stay with relatives in Diyala province. We did not have exact directions to my cousin's house. But he was a tribal sheik, so I thought he would be easy to find. Read more ...

The view from the Shiite south
By Raheem Salman

When the war began, I took my family to the south because our home was too close to Baghdad's airport road, where fighting was expected. Read more ...

As the statue falls, a rising urge for action
By Mohammed Rasheed

I knew everything that was happening because of the hidden satellite dish in my home. If I had been caught with it during Hussein's time, I would have been jailed and fined. I kept the generator running all the time so I could watch CNN and other international news channels. Read more ...

Iraqi soldiers selling boots for bus tickets
By an Iraqi employee of The Times

Two weeks before the start of the war, I was called up for military service. I went AWOL. This was a very dangerous decision. If I had been caught, a firing squad would have executed me in public. Read more ...

Some tea, a smoke, a look down a gun barrel
An Iraqi employee of a Western company

As a junior member of Hussein's ruling Baath Party, I had prepared for months for the war. I was part of a seven-member party cell in Baghdad, and our task was to maintain order and prevent mutiny in our area of operation. Read more ...