As a lover of photography, and a participant in Project 365 this year, I’ve seen how photographs can chronicle a year. Looking back on photos helps order the mind, remind us of past events: Images inspire memories far better than words, in my experience. It is images, not newspaper articles, speeches or blog posts that I remember.
Anyway, my ramblings aside, these are the the photos from 2011 which I shall always remember…
Robert Peraza, who lost his son on 9/11, pauses by his son's name - Robert David Peraza - on the North Wall of the 9/11 Memorial. (Getty Images/Justin Lane)
Members of the American national security team receive an update on the mission in Abbottabad, Pakistan, to kill-or-capture Osama bin Laden. (Reuters/HANDOUT)
An Occupy Portland protester gets sprayed in the face with pepper spray. (Randy L. Rasmussen/The Oregonian)
Anders Behring Breivik slaughtered 78 people, mostly teenagers, in Oslo and on Utoya Island, Norway, claiming that he was defending Europe from Muslim immigration. This "rose march" commemorated the victims, outside Oslo City Hall. One thing that struck me about the terrible terrorist attack was that Norwegians called for peace, not retaliation. Truly admirable. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti)
A shot of Utoya Island where the massacre of 69 people took place.
A building aflame on Tottenham High Road, North London, during the English Riots this summer. (Lewis Whyld/ PA)
A rebel fighter in Ajdabiya, Libya, celebrates as his fellow rebels engage with Gaddafi loyalists. (Chris Hondros/ Getty Images - please see below)
Thanks to Facebook for its role in the Middle Eastern Arab Spring uprisings.
During riots in Vancouver, when the Vancouver Canucks lost the Stanley Cup to the Boston Bruins, Australian Scott Jones kisses his girlfriend, Canadian Alex Thomas, who was knocked to the floor by police. (Getty Images/ Rich Lam)
A woman jumps from a burning building in London during the riots. (Amy Weston / WENN.com)
A bride-to-be attempts suicide after her fiance abandons her. (Reuters / CHINA DAILY)
A protester in Cairo, Egypt, standing front of a burning barricaide during protests on January 28th. (Reuters/Goran Tomasevic)
Chris Hondros, a photographer for Getty Images, was killed in the line of duty in Misurata, Libya. (Katie Orlinsky/Getty Images)
For more Photo Retrospectives, look at these!
Buzzfeed’s 45 Most Powerful Images
New York Times’ Year in Pictures
The Atlantic’s Year in Photos
These are not records of the most important events during 2011, nor even the best or most important photos. But ones that I saw during the course of the year, that left the greatest impression on me.