ONE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY SPECIAL REPORT
GNS correspondent John Yaukey and photo chief Jeff Franko traveled to Iraq in March. Browse their word and photo journals.
Glimpses of life in a war-torn country by GNS national security correspondent John Yaukey and photo director Jeff Franko.
Recall key dates, browse defining photos from six weeks of combat in Iraq. (Requires Flash)
January 26, 2005
January 25, 2005
January 25, 2005
January 20, 2005
Also on the Web
Special coverage and photo galleries of American troops serving in Iraq from The Honolulu Advertiser.
Take an interactive tour of Saddam's hide-out and capture at USATODAY.com's Iraq home page.
Click here to browse more than 1,000 Iraq war news stories from the front lines and the home front.
Slovaks, relating to Iraqis' jubilation, greet country's leader
By Karen Bouffard | The Detroit NewsLINCOLN PARK, Mich. - Many of the 40,000 Slovaks who live in Wayne County remember what Slovakia was like when the Communists were in charge. So it was a poignant occasion Thursday when Rudolf Schuster, president of the Slovak Republic, came to Lincoln Park just one day after the fall of Baghdad.
More than 2,000 people greeted the former Communist Party member, now president of one of the world's new eastern European democracies, with cheers, whistles, food, dancing and song.
Schuster said he'd met with President Bush in Washington on Wednesday just as Baghdad residents were toppling the towering statue of Saddam Hussein in the city square - and the two watched together as jubilant Iraqis celebrated their release from tyranny.
"For these people in Iraq, they are hungry for democracy. ... Now Iraq will change and elect its own leadership," said Schuster, whose country was one of the first to commit troops and support to the U.S.-led coalition against Saddam's regime. He said the Slovak Republic now has 142 soldiers in Iraq, including a team of experts on biological, nuclear and chemical weapons.
"It was a special feeling, a glad moment," he said.
Sterling Heights resident Milan Straka said he moved to the United States before Slovakia split peacefully from Czechoslovakia in 1993 and became a democracy.
"Under the Communists, people who were public officials couldn't go to church," Straka said, noting that the country is predominantly Christian, with about 60 percent Roman Catholic. "I was in skilled trade school, and I had to go to church in a different town. If the teachers found out I was in school, they might have kicked me out.
"Communism is tyranny, just like Saddam, just a different kind."
Schuster said now that the country has been liberated, Iraqis who fled to the United States should return to help rebuild their country.
"They have to return home, because they can lead," he said. "Here, many of them have grown up as children with democracy. They can help their people learn the democratic way of life."