Up top, headlines tell of missiles firing into Baghdad and tanks lining up on the border. Just below, Saddam Hussein vows to win.
The "Key Developments" sidebar paints a similarly grim picture: 300,000 troops, 1,000 warplanes, casualties expected. Just below, the "Related Stories" were more of the same: waves of jets, explosions in Baghdad, the prospect of taking out Iraq's electronic grid with a "secret 'e-bomb.'"
The ominous, sepia-toned main image shows smoke rising in the night as cruise missiles fire from a Navy ship. Pictured below is a cautious George W. Bush, representing America and its allies, and an unwavering Saddam Hussein, desperately hanging on to the reins of his defiant regime.
Meanwhile in Everett, a service was held at the Greater Trinity Missionary Baptist Church, home to a congregation that included about three dozen members of the military and their families. Those in attendance prayed for the safety of the troops and a peaceful resolution.
"I'm hoping there's not many casualties," parishioner DeEdra Manson says in the article. "I wish there could be none."
The conflict would evolve into an eight-and-a-half year war that took the lives of nearly 4,500 Americans and perhaps upwards of half a million Iraqis.
Click here for a story from last year about how the war affected the lives of Everett locals. And here is a list of Washington's Iraq War casualties.
Read more from The Herald's March 20, 2003, issue and others in our collection of historic front pages.
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