Though 2016 hasn’t been the brightest of years, it has taught us many lessons…whether those lessons get learned is a different issue.
These photos can remind us of the powerful events and movements that have graced the world this year, and maybe help us reflect on their purposes.
Above is the photo of five-year-old Omran Daqneesh, sitting dazed and bloodied in the back of an ambulance after surviving a regime airstrike in Aleppo, which shook the world and highlighted the desperation of the Syrian civil war.
Since then, the situation in Aleppo has become so hostile that people trapped in the city began to post their heartbreaking final tweets.
Caleb McGrew, 36, right, stands with his partner Yosniel Delgado Giniebra, 37, center, during a vigil in memory of the victims of the Orlando mass shooting, June 12, 2016, in Miami Beach.
A gunman opened fire inside a crowded gay nightclub, killing dozens of people before dying in a gunfight with SWAT officers.
It was the deadliest mass shooting in American history.
Baton Rouge PD looks ridiculous. I never wore so much armor in combat. This is their own community. (Photo: Reuters) pic.twitter.com/clCFFyD6jx
— Brandon Friedman (@BFriedmanDC) July 10, 2016
Following a series of black deaths at the hands of US police, people staged a Black Lives Matter protest where Ieshia Evans, 28, stood powerfully and calmly in front of fully armed Baton Rouge police officers.
She said she took part in the protest so she could ‘look her son in the eyes to tell him she fought for his freedom and rights’ following the death of 37-year-old Alton Sterling who was shot several times by officers from the Baton Rouge Police Department, Louisiana.
Moments after this photo was taken, Ieshia was arrested and taken away for refusing to leave an area highway.
President Barack Obama presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor for civilians, to comedian and talk show host Ellen DeGeneres.
It’s easy to forget now just how much courage was required for Ellen to come out on the most public of stages 20 years ago.
What an incredible burden that was to bear – to risk your career like that – people don’t do that very often. And then, to have the hopes of millions on your shoulders
On January 10 2016, legendary English singer, songwriter and actor David Bowie died at his New York City apartment after an 18 month battle with liver cancer.
His death shocked the world and happened just two days after the release of his twenty-fifth studio album, Blackstar, which coincided with his 69th birthday.
The photo above demonstrates some of his devoted fans mourning the death of their hero.
This woman was at a beach in France when the police came & forced her to remove her burkini.
No difference than ISIS pic.twitter.com/LuPHfbYSZd
— Yasmine (@yasminebllt) August 24, 2016
The world was taken-aback when armed French police took the burkini ban to an inhumane level by forcing a woman on a Nice beach to remove some of her clothing after the controversial ban.
Considering that the burkini poses no threat to national security and covers little more than a long-sleeve t-shirt and a swimming cap would, the ban appears to be about the Islamic links.
This photo of President Barack Obama and President-elect Donald Trump shaking hands is symbolic of the nail-biting election race that caused so much controversy around the world.
It was shocking to see Trump, who has no real experience in politics, to take the position of President over the next four years.
Obama revealed the harsh words he told Trump:
Look, if you can find different approaches to deal with the problems, I don’t pretend that I was the repository of all wisdom, but what you can’t do is pretend they’re not problems.
Hard? Soft? Medium-rare? However you want it served, we got a Brexit.
One of the most contentious referendums in the UK divided the nation into remain and leave.
Leave won by 52% to 48%. The referendum turnout was 71.8%, with more than 30 million people voting.
There are numerous predictions for the consequences of this landmark event. What we do know is that our little island has extended its irrelevance and we stand alone…like those good ol’ days right?
One of Britain’s greatest athletes Mo Farah became only the second man in history to retain the 5,000m and 10,000m titles in the Rio Olympics this year.
Farah made it a nerve-racking race when he tripped and fell in the 10th lap of the 10,000m, but got up again, and brought home his forth gold medal.
Another sporting legend secured a world title this year…Scotland’s own Andy Murray.
Andy Murray beat five-time champion Novak Djokovic to end 2016 as the world number one.
There are a couple of happy achievements we can take pride in, but unfortunately many of the most powerful photos from this year depict a tragedy of sorts.
Hopefully 2017 will bring a bit more cheer.