2011: Tragedies and Triumphs Told in Photos ...

While browsing Buzzfeed, I came across what is honestly one of the most powerful photo collections I've ever seen – appropriately enough, since it's entitled The 45 Most Powerful Images of 2011. Some of them are awe-inspiring, some of them are heartbreaking, but all of them are meaningful. Photos from all over the world capture some of the most tragic, victorious, and important moments that have occurred throughout the year. You have to admit, 2011 has been a big one. As it draws to a close, I thought I would share some of the pictures, images, and moments that really struck me.

I don't know many people who weren't deeply affected by the 10th anniversary of September 11. This picture is simple, but it speaks volumes.

This is Phyllis Siegel and Connie Kopelov, who are 76 and 84 respectively. After same-sex marriage passed in New York State (I happened to be visiting my parents in NY when it passed, and the Better Half and I sat holding hands and crying our eyes out), theirs was the very first marriage to take place.

The Puyehue volcano in Chile erupted this year. It was devastating to South America as a whole, and had far-reaching implications. This photo is proof that, while dangerous, natural disasters can also be eerily beautiful.

The Tsunami in Japan was equally devastating. It caused damage the likes of which many of us can't imagine.

Hurricane Irene brought tragedy to the United States, although it thankfully did not have the same impact as Hurricane Katrina. However, it still caused a lot of damage – and a lot of heartbreak, as evidenced by this photo of Billy and Erin Stinson, a father and daughter who lost everything in North Carolina.

This picture was taken in Rangsit. In October, flooding overwhelmed the area, with water rising chest deep – or worse. That's horrifying, but what this photograph signifies to me is that, even in the midst of something scary, dangerous, or terrifying, if you can just hold on, then you can still have hope.

There are lots of moving, incredibly powerful pictures and moments captured. Take a look at Buzzfeed to see what moves you the most, or simply share the stories of the struggles, triumphs, and tribulations you've experienced this year.

Top Photo Source: weheartit.com

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