The world's attention was fixed on President Bush's speech and students at Rockford College listened intently as well.
The President's speech was only about 15 minutes long, but that was plenty of time to stir up debate among these Rockford College students, for some his words were no big surprise. For others they were the opposite of what they wanted to hear.
"We can solve things diplomatically. The reasons for going to war not convincing," said Jennifer Struckholz, a senior at Rockford College, majoring in Art and Psychology.
"As far as [President Bush] convincing the nation I don't know. I was convinced by photographs, coverage and what I've read," said Frank Dyke a junior at Rockford College majoring in Political Science.
Also in the crowd, a retired gulf war veteran. For him, this is an eerily familiar situation. He says he's confident the Commander-in-Chief knows what he's doing.
"Those in power are not going about this half-heartedly," said Clarence Harper.
Harper says war is never pretty, but in some cases it's the only option. He says this is one such case.
"Despite the ugliness, we have to put an end to this, yes," Harper said.
As the debate continues, ultimately Americans will just have to wait and see what comes next.