And here, a collection of my favorite images from TIME's Lightbox.

Some sad and disheartening, some seemingly unreal and incomprehensible, and some joyous and celebratory--all evoking human emotions that this year has brought. I always enjoy looking at these pictures to really get a picture of what's happened in our world this year. It is crazy how much turmoil and despair is present in the world, but how a simple wedding between a commoner and a prince can make the world sigh for a moment and how a simple transition of time can bring the world together in unison as the new year begins. Happy New Year. May it be a good one.

Dan Kitwood—Getty Images
January 1, 2011. Fireworks light up the London skyline and Big Ben just after midnight in England. Thousands of people lined the banks of the River Thames in central London to see in the New Year with a spectacular fireworks display.
Green Renaissance—EPA
November 8, 2011. A sedated black rhino is carried by military helicopter away from a poaching area in the hills of the Eastern Cape in South Africa to a new home 15 miles away. The World Wildlife Fund organized the move of 1,000 rhinos, which are under threat from poachers across Africa because of the market value of their horns.

Yuri Kozyrev—NOOR for TIME
February 1, 2011. A crowd lifts a demonstrator during a protest march in Cairo's Tahrir Square.

Wayne Tilcock—The Enterprise/AP
On Friday 18 November, Campus police at the University of California at Davis nonchalantly used pepper spray against students who sat peacefully on the school's quad to protest tuition increases. Online video and stills show the officers standing over the protesters and spraying them repeatedly at point blank range. "It was such an intense feeling. It felt like acid was being poured on our faces" said 21-year-old student Sophia Kamran who was among those targeted. Two officers involved in the incident were later placed on administrative leave—while a task force has been put together to address the incident and the results of a report are awaited. The episode at UC Davis followed controversial police deployments of pepper spray over the preceding days--- on 17 November against Occupy Portland participants in Pioneer Courthouse Square, and in another instance on 15 November when dozens of people including a pregnant woman and an 84-year-old activist were doused during the Occupy Seattle protests. Amidst much online debate, stills and footage in each case went viral--including this image from California by Wayne Tilcock. The YouTube video of the UC Davis incident alone reached more than 1.3 million views that weekend--while a number of creative and humorous reworkings of the images were also widely shared online.
Pete Souza—The White House
April 15, 2011. President Barack Obama meets with Press Secretary Jay Carney, left, and Senior Advisor David Plouffe, center, before an interview with Ben Feller of the Associated Press, in Chicago, Illinois.

Lauren Fleishman for TIME
A crowd gathered at New York's Ground Zero right after Obama's speech announcing the death of Osama Bin Laden on May 1, 2011. Revelers in the crowd scrambled up light poles over the cheering crowd.
Pete Muller—AP
February 20, 2011. A victim of a mass rape campaign in the town of Fizi, Democratic Republic of Congo. Her identity has been concealed for security reasons and because rape carries strong social stigma in the nation.

Rich Lam—Getty Images
When the Vancouver Canucks lost game 7 of the Stanely Cup finals to the Boston Bruins on their home ice on June 15, local fans took out their frustration in the streets, by rioting, looting and setting fire to cars. During the rampage, Getty photographer Rich Lam captured this image of one couple laying on the ground, seemingly engaged in a romantic moment. The surprising juxtaposition and its metaphorical resonance—make love, not war—made it an internet sensation in the days after it was released. At first, it was suggested that the photo was a fake, but Lam was able to provide before and after frames that disproved that; but even after the fact, he was not entirely sure what he had witnessed. "It was complete chaos," he said. Eventually, it became clear that the young woman, later identified as Alexandra Thomas, had been knocked down by the surging crowd. Her boyfriend a 29-year-od Australian named Scott Jones had come to her aid. Part of comforting her, the couple explained on a Today show appearance a few days later, was a brief kiss.
Eric Thayer—Reuters
September 10, 2011. A plane flies through the "Tribute in Lights" in lower Manhattan in New York. New York marked the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center this year.
Dylan Martinez—Reuters
The world celebrated the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton with parades and parties, but for one key participant, the festivities were a little too much. Three-year-old Grace Van Cutsem, one of the bridesmaids, could not handle the roar of the crowd beneath the balcony at Buckingham Palace and covered her ears to block out the noise. The photo of her reaction became an instant internet sensation, rapidly morphing into a meme for all occasions. Readers of websites like Buzzfeed pasted her into their own photos, A Tumblr page was created while others used her face as the focal point of videos posted to Youtube.
Click here to find out more!
Claudio Santana—AFP/Getty Images
June 5, 2011. A cloud of ash billowing from Puyehue volcano near Osorno in southern Chile.
Lewis Whyld—PA Photos/Landov
August 7, 2011. Fire rages through a building in Tottenham, north London as trouble flared after members of the community took to the streets to demand "justice" after Mark Duggan, 29, was shot dead by police.
Pedro Armestre—AFP/Getty Images
August 16, 2011. A woman's confession to a priest at one of the 200 temporary confessionals set up at Madrid's Buen Retiro park. Hundreds of thousands of pilgrims gathered in Madrid for a giant open-air mass, launching a six-day youth party for Pope Benedict XVI at a time of economic hardship in Spain.
Damir Sagolj—Reuters
October 5, 2011. A portrait of Kim Il Sung, founder of the communist regime in North Korea, beams from a government building at 6 a.m. in the pariah state's capital, Pyongyang.
James Akena / Reuters
Police spray Ugandan opposition leaders with colored water during demonstrations in the capital of Kampala on May 10, 2011. President Yoweri Museveni vowed to crush the protests and blamed rising food and fuel costs on drought and global increases in oil prices.

Nicolas Asfouri—AFP/Getty Images
March 22, 2011. A general night view taken with a longer exposure, shows destroyed houses and debris in the tsunami-damaged city of Rikuzentakata, in Japan's Iwate prefecture.
Mary Altaffer / AP En Masse
Confetti flies over New York's Times Square as the clock strikes midnight during the New Year's Eve celebration, Saturday, Dec. 31, 2011.

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Monica H. said...

I love your posts. This one is super cool. You rock, you're my hero.

Ayley said...


Catherine said...

Wow. These are amazing images. Thank you for sharing these!!!

katrina said...

Soooo good.

Kelli Anderson said...


Erin said...

Love this

L J said...

i like

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