'Mission accomplished': When George W Bush landed on the USS Abraham Lincoln

He climbed onto a podium to declare Operation Iraqi Freedom as “a job well done”

** FILE ** President Bush declares the end of major combat in Iraq as he speaks aboard the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln off the California coast, in this May 1, 2003 file photo. Democratic congressional leaders on Tuesday, May 1, 2007 sent Iraq legislation setting timetables for U.S. troop withdrawals to President George W. Bush and a certain veto.  On the fourth anniversary of the president's "Mission Accomplished" speech, Senate Majority Democratic Leader Harry Reid said that Bush "has put our troops in the middle of a civil war. A change of course is needed."  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

In May 2003, George W Bush, then US president, landed on the USS Abraham Lincoln in the co-pilot's seat of a Navy fighter jet to give a televised address to his nation.  

He climbed onto a podium to declare Operation Iraqi Freedom "a job well done". His troops had deposed Saddam Hussein's regime. A banner hovered over his head as he made this speech. It read "Mission Accomplished".

“Major combat operations in Iraq have ended,” he said. “In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed.”

As everyone knows, this was an unpopular war, and has left a significant, lingering negative impact in its wake. Another picture of Mr Bush from that day shows him wearing a green flight suit and holding a white helmet, saluting those on deck. It is perhaps more famous. This one, however, encapsulates how overly theatrical the moment was.

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