What a year it has been! Here’s to 2012 being a more quiet and less destructive

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The 45 Most Powerful Images Of 2011 1

Robert Peraza, who lost his son Robert David Peraza in 9/11, pauses at his son’s name at the North Pool of the 9/11 Memorial.

(Getty Images / Justin Lane)
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The 45 Most Powerful Images Of 2011 2

A whirpool forms off the Japanese coast after the tsunami on March 11.

(Reuters / Kyodo )
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The 45 Most Powerful Images Of 2011 3

This sightseeing boat, Hama Yuri, was pulled 1300 feet from the coast and somehow balanced itself on a two story house during the tsunami in Japan.

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The 45 Most Powerful Images Of 2011 4

Members of the national security team receive an update on the mission against Osama bin Laden in the Situation Room of the White House on May 1.

(Reuters / HANDOUT)
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The 45 Most Powerful Images Of 2011 5

Two lights from the former site of the World Trade Centers shine for the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

(Reuters / GARY HERSHORN)
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The 45 Most Powerful Images Of 2011 6

Phyllis Siegel, 76, left, and Connie Kopelov, 84, both of New York, embrace after becoming the first same-6 couple to get married at the Manhattan City Clerk’s office.

(Getty Images / STAN HONDA)
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The 45 Most Powerful Images Of 2011 7

A protester gets sprayed in the face with pepper spray at an Occupy Portland protest. (Randy L. Rasmussen/The Oregonian)

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The 45 Most Powerful Images Of 2011 8

A before and after shot of Joplin, Missouri after a massive tornado on May 22.

Source: zeitlosimagery
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The 45 Most Powerful Images Of 2011 9

Friends and loved ones gather at the Oslo cathedral to mourn 93 victims killed in twin terror attacks from a bombing in downtown Oslo and a mass shooting on Utoya island on July 24.

(Getty Images / Paula Bronstein)
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The 45 Most Powerful Images Of 2011 10

A monstrous dust storm (Haboob) roared through Phoenix, Arizona in July.

Source: danbryant.com
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The 45 Most Powerful Images Of 2011 11

President Obama signs a bill to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell.

(AP / Evan Vucci)
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The 45 Most Powerful Images Of 2011 12

Christians protect Muslims during prayer in Cairo, Egypt.

Source: @NevineZaki
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The 45 Most Powerful Images Of 2011 13

An aerial shot of the damage immediately following the Japanese tsunami.

(Reuters / KYODO)
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The 45 Most Powerful Images Of 2011 14

A girl in isolation for radiation screening looks at her dog through a window in Nihonmatsu, Japan on March 14.

(Reuters / Yuriko Nakao)
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The 45 Most Powerful Images Of 2011 15

A man sits in front of a destroyed apartment building following the Joplin, Missouri tornado. (Reuters)

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The 45 Most Powerful Images Of 2011 16

A University of California Davis police officer pepper-sprays students during their sit-in at an “Occupy UCD” demonstration in Davis, California. (Jasna Hodzic)

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The 45 Most Powerful Images Of 2011 17

A mother comforts her son in Concord, Alabama, near his house which was completely destroyed by a tornado in April.

(AP / Jeff Roberts)
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The 45 Most Powerful Images Of 2011 18

Chile’s Puyehue volcano erupts, causing air traffic cancellations across South America, New Zealand, Australia and forcing over 3,000 people to evacuate. (Reuters)

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The 45 Most Powerful Images Of 2011 19

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.

Source: lens.blogs.nytimes.com
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The 45 Most Powerful Images Of 2011 20

Slain Navy SEAL Jon Tumilson’s dog “Hawkeye” lays next to his casket during funeral services in Rockford, Iowa. Tumilson was one of 30 American soldiers killed in Afghanistan on August 6 when their helicopter was shot down during a mission to help fellow troops who had come under fire.

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The 45 Most Powerful Images Of 2011 21

A makeshift Steve Jobs memorial at the Apple Store in SOHO New York.

Source: publicdomainclip-art.blogspot.com
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The 45 Most Powerful Images Of 2011 22

Cars are abandoned on Chicago’s Lake Shore Drive during the “Snowpocalypse” in February.

Source: chicagotribune.com
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The 45 Most Powerful Images Of 2011 23

Facebook played an extremely important role in the uprisings throughout the Middle East.

Source: theatlanticwire.com
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The 45 Most Powerful Images Of 2011 24

84-year-old Dorli Rainey was pepper sprayed during a peaceful march in Seattle, Washington. She would have been thrown to the ground and trampled, but luckily a fellow protester and Iraq vet was there to save her. (Joshua Trujillo / seattlepi.com)

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The 45 Most Powerful Images Of 2011 25

Australian Scott Jones kisses his Canadian girlfriend Alex Thomas after she was knocked to the ground by a police officer’s riot shield in Vancouver, British Columbia. Canadians rioted after the Vancouver Canucks lost the Stanley Cup to the Boston Bruins.

(Getty Images / Rich Lam)
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The 45 Most Powerful Images Of 2011 26

Hurricane Irene approaches the east coast.

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The 45 Most Powerful Images Of 2011 27

Billy Stinson comforts his daughter Erin Stinson as they sit on the steps where their cottage once stood on August 28 in Nags Head, N.C. The cottage, built in 1903 and destroyed by Hurricane Irene, was one of the first vacation cottages built on Albemarle Sound in Nags Head.

(Getty Images / Scott Olson)
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The 45 Most Powerful Images Of 2011 28

Flowers and tributes are seen outside the home of Amy Winehouse in London on July 24.

(Reuters / STEFAN WERMUTH)
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The 45 Most Powerful Images Of 2011 29

Office workers gather on the sidewalk in downtown Washington, D.C., moments after a 5.9-magnitude earthquake shook the nation’s capital. The earthquake was centered northwest of Richmond, Va., but could be felt from North Carolina to Massachusetts.

(AP / J. Scott Applewhite)
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The 45 Most Powerful Images Of 2011 30

Mihag Gedi Farah, a seven-month-old child, is held by his mother in a field hospital of the International Rescue Committee in the town of Dadaab, Kenya. The baby has since made a full recovery.

(AP / Schalk Van Zuydam)
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The 45 Most Powerful Images Of 2011 31

A woman jumps from a burning building during the London riots in August. (Amy Weston / WENN.com)

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The 45 Most Powerful Images Of 2011 32

Office workers look for a way out of a high rise building in central Christchurch, New Zeland on February 22. A strong earthquake killed at least 180 people.

(Reuters / Simon Baker)
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The 45 Most Powerful Images Of 2011 33

A woman cries while sitting on a road amid the destroyed city of Natori, Miyagi Prefecture in northern Japan after the massive earthquake and tsunami.

(Reuters / ASAHI SHIMBUN)
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The 45 Most Powerful Images Of 2011 34

A demonstrator shows his bottom to riot police during a protest by European workers and trade union representatives to demand better job protection in the European Union countries in Brussels on March 24.

(Reuters / Thierry Roge)
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The 45 Most Powerful Images Of 2011 35

A woman rebel fighter supporter fires an AK-47 rifle as she reacts to the news of the withdrawal of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s forces from Benghazi on March 19.

(Reuters / GORAN TOMASEVIC)
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The 45 Most Powerful Images Of 2011 36

Police spray Ugandan opposition party leaders with colored water during demonstrations in the capital Kampala on May 10.

(Reuters / James Akena)
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The 45 Most Powerful Images Of 2011 37

A student is punched in the face by a police officer in Chile. Students in Chile are demanding a new framework for education.

(Reuters / VICTOR RUIZ CABALLERO)
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The 45 Most Powerful Images Of 2011 38

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.

(Reuters / STRINGER)
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The 45 Most Powerful Images Of 2011 39

A Libyan rebel is pictured with Gadhafi’s golden gun.

(Getty Images / Philippe Desmazes)
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The 45 Most Powerful Images Of 2011 40

Harold Camping speaks about the end of the world. The world was supposed to end on May 22 of this year.

(AP / Marcio Jose Sanchez)
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The 45 Most Powerful Images Of 2011 41

A phone hangs off the hook on Wall Street.

(Reuters / LUCAS JACKSON)
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The 45 Most Powerful Images Of 2011 42

US gay service members march in a gay pride parade for the first time ever.

(Getty Images / Sandy Huffaker)
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The 45 Most Powerful Images Of 2011 43

A woman hangs onto a street sign in chest deep water along the flooded streets in Rangsit on the outskirts of Bangkok on October 24.

(Getty Images / Paula Bronstein)
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The 45 Most Powerful Images Of 2011 44

A distressed bride attempts suicide in China after her fiance abruptly called off their marriage. Still in her wedding gown, she tried to kill herself by jumping out of a window of a seventh floor building. Right as she jumped, a man managed to catch and save her.

(Reuters / CHINA DAILY)
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The 45 Most Powerful Images Of 2011 45

A U.S. Army soldier takes five with an Afghan boy during a patrol in Pul-e Alam, a town in Logar province, eastern Afghanistan.