Here is a collection of some of the images of the year, those which have stuck in my own mind as I followed news stories and some I have stumbled upon. Sometimes pictures really can speak more than words.
Robert Peraza, who lost his son Robert David Peraza when the twin towers came down ten years ago, lays his hand on his son’s name at the North Pool of the 9/11 Memorial (AFP/Getty Images).
Firefighters of Ladder Company 4 — which lost seven men on 9/11 — perched together on their aerial ladder, watching a news bulletin in Times Square declaring that Osama bin Laden was dead on May 2.
A before and after shot of Joplin, Missouri after a massive tornado on May 22 (Aaron Fuhrman).
One of the most bizarre images, a clash of technology and drought. An aid worker using an iPad captures an image of a dead cow’s decomposing carcass in Wajir near the Kenya-Somalia border on July 23, one of the worst droughts Eastern Africa has ever had (Reuters / Stringer).
Space Shuttle Atlantis lands at Kennedy Space Center July 21, 2011 in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Atlantis was the final shuttle mission for NASA, ending the shuttle program’s 30 years (Joe Raedle – AFP/Getty Images) .
Mount Semeru, seen with an ash plume, is the highest volcano on the Indonesian island of Java, where it is surrounded by the smaller volcanoes Mount Bromo and Mount Batok. Mount Semeru has been in a constant state of eruption since 1967 (John Stanmeyer, National Geographic).
Henri Lansbury of Norwich scores a goal during the npower Chapionship match between Norwich City and Bristol City at Carrow Road on March 14, 2011 in Norwich, England, my beloved Canaries make it to the premier league (Jamie McDonald, Getty Images).
March 11th, Japan experienced a 8.9 earthquake followed by a 33-ft tsunami causing unimaginable destruction.
A general view shows hundreds of thousands of piligrims praying at Mecca’s Grand Mosque on October 31, 2011, as more than 1.5 million Muslims have arrived in Saudi Arabia for the hajj pilgrimage to the shrine city, the world’s largest annual human assembly which peaks on November 5. Going into 2012 I think that there still needs to be continual relationship and interaction between Muslims and Christians. (Fayez Nureldine – AFP/Getty Images).
November 18th, a campus police officer, in a sweeping motion, sprayed #Occupy protesters point blank. Eleven people were treated on site for effects of the yellow spray. Two of them were sent to the hospital.
Petty Officer Jon T. Tumilson from Iowa, where an estimated 1,500 mourners came to pay respects for the fallen Navy SEAL, including his dog Hawkeye. The dog laid down by the casket of his owner during the entire service. Known as JT to his friends, Tumilson he died in combat in Afghanistan, he was one of the SEAL team who went into the Bin Laden compound in May.
An aerial view of Honda vehicles at the flooded Honda factory in the Rojuna Industrial district on November 14, 2011 in Ayutthaya, Thailand (Paula Bronstein – AFP/Getty Images).
Youths pose near their bonfire in Ballykeel housing estate, in Ballymena, Northern Ireland July 11, 2011. Northern Irish Protestants traditionally light bonfires on the 11th of July to celebrate their culture, showing there is still tension between Catholics and Protestants (Cathal McNaughton, Reuters).
U.S. Army soldiers from the 2nd Platoon, B battery 2-8 field artillery, fire a howitzer artillery piece at Seprwan Ghar forward fire base in Panjwai district, Kandahar province southern Afghanistan, June 12, 2011 (Baz Ratner, Reuters)
One of my favorites, this was taken by one of our youth girls at New Covenant Church on our retreat, just on her iPhone. This picture represents Christian friendship and Covenant love, the very thing that makes believers different from others. Maybe in 2012 we can all experience more of the grace of God and show love to one another, united in the faith.