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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 December, 2004, 18:16 GMT
How you saw the world in 2004
Eyewitnesses to the world's major incidents contacted Have Your Say throughout 2004 to share their experiences with millions of others.

The Have Your Say pages and Talking Point debates received hundreds of thousands of emails about the war in Iraq, the US election and all the big news events of the year. We also published longer personal testimonies from readers.

On this page you can find links to pages capturing some of the best emails and most evocative photographs, recording personal views of the years' biggest stories.


Abu Ghraib prisoner
Images of prisoner abuse in Iraq shocked the world
Despite the handover of authority to an interim Iraqi government, 2004 saw increased violence and bloodshed in Iraq. There was a growing insurgency movement, factional fighting, kidnappings often followed by brutal videotaped executions and a wave of suicide bomb attacks.

Coalition forces conducted major military operations against militants in Falluja and Najaf, including those loyal to radical cleric Moqtada Sadr.

Violence will continue until the US leaves and the so-called interim government is disbanded and the Iraqis decide how and what they want a new government to be
Reva Rubenstein, USA

The world was shocked when photographs emerged of US soldiers abusing Iraqi prisoners in the notorious Abu Ghraib prison.

In an effort to get behind the headlines and find out what life is really like in Iraq, we published a log recording the thoughts and everyday lives of ordinary people.

And throughout the year, readers across the globe told us their views.

Read your views:


Injured survivors of the Madrid attacks
Abu Hafs al-Masri Brigades claimed responsibility for the attacks
On 11 March, 10 bombs exploded on four trains in three stations during the rush hour leaving 201 people dead and more than 1,400 injured.

Within minutes of the blasts witnesses contacted Have Your Say to tell their stories, and in the aftermath readers all over the world told us of their shock and outrage.

Read your views:

Talking Point: How should the world respond?
Talking Point: How can a free society protect itself


D-Day veteran
Thousands of emails paid tribute to the D-Day fallen
On 6 June, hundreds of events took place to mark the 60th anniversary of the D-Day landings - the start of the invasion which eventually liberated France from Nazi occupation.

Many of our readers contacted Have Your Say to offer thanks to the troops involved, while other readers told us D-Day stories passed on by their relatives.

Read your views:


A car crushed by a tree felled by Hurricane Ivan
Hurricane Ivan laid waste to much of Jamaica
Hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne swept across America and the Caribbean islands between 12 August and 15 September.

More than 1,500 people were killed and hundreds of thousands were left homeless.

Many people contacted BBC News to give their eyewitness accounts, while others sent photographs and videos documenting their struggle to pick up the pieces after the storms.

Read your views:

Talking Point: Commemoration of D-Day


Armed Chechen militants took more than 1,200 people hostage at a ceremony to mark the start of a new term at a small school in Beslan, southern Russia.

Gutted school gym, Beslan
Mourners laid flowers inside the burned-out school gym
The hostages were kept in the school gymnasium, booby-trapped by the militants, for two days until the situation came to a tragic climax.

A gun battle erupted between the hostage takers, Russian Special Forces and local people in which some 300 died, including many children.

Grief overwhelmed the small town in North Ossetia. Readers around the world told us of their horror and shock.

Read your views:

Forum: Why did rebels target Russian school?


Senator John Kerry the Democratic presidential candidate challenged Republican incumbent George W Bush for the Oval Office in the US election in November.

President Bush on the campaign trail
President Bush presses the flesh on the road back to the White House
After a tight race, a record number of voters came out to give President Bush an increased majority for his second term in office.

Have Your Say documented reaction from all over the world and within the US. A specially-selected panel of voters from the US told us what they were thinking during the campaigns.

Read your views:

Forum: Life after the US elections


Award-winning UK broadcaster John Peel was a champion of British music for nearly 40 years.

John Peel
John Peel: An icon of British broadcasting
As a BBC Radio One DJ, his show was best known for giving new and emerging bands exposure on the airwaves.

He became equally well known to BBC Radio Four and World Service listeners for Home Truths, his programme which explored the ups and downs of everyday family life.

Peel's death aged 65 in October inspired tens of thousands of people to pay their tributes.

Read your views:


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