Dearborn Rejoices As Saddam Statue Falls

D E A R B O R N, Mich., April 10, 2003 -- There is an old joke that when it rains in the Middle East, the people in Dearborn, Mich. carry umbrellas.

So among residents of the largely Arab suburb of Detroit there was relief and joy as they watched a statue of Saddam fall in Baghdad Wednesday. The feelings were especially strong for those with families still inside Iraq. Because Iraqi-Americans have feared for their families, many have been reluctant or afraid to speak out against Saddam's regime.

About 1,200 residents gathered in Dearborn's Hemlock Park Wednesday, chanting and waving British, American and Iraqi flags. At one point, the crowd pelted a large cardboard drawing of Saddam with candy, then later jumped on it and tore it in half.

There were celebrations elsewhere across the United States too. In El Cajon, Calif., home to about 6,000 Iraqi Kurds, about 150 people rejoiced in the streets. And in Everett, Wash., hundreds of jubilant Iraqi immigrants danced and chanted.