2011: The Year that Was, as Seen by Flickr

From the Arab Spring to the earthquake that rocked a nation to a royal wedding, Flickr members have captured images of monumental events and woven their own tales of the year.

Flickr Year in Photos 2011 Gallery

It's hard to argue that 2011 wasn't one of the momentous years in recent memory. Protesters took to the streets both at home and abroad. Disaster, too, had no geographic boundaries. It was also a year of endings. The world said “so long” to a fictional wizard who captured the imagination of a generation of children, to a terrorist leader who masterminded the deaths of thousands, and to one of technology's true legends. Through it all, Flickr shutterbugs captured events one moment at a time. Here is some of their best work chosen by editors at Yahoo.

You can also view the original Flickr Year in Photos 2011 Gallery.

The Arab Spring Begins

January 14

Protesters hit the pavement in Tunisia, spurred by a fruit vendor who, unable to cope with the repressive regime under which he lived, set himself on fire in an act of flamboyant defiance. Although they didn't know it at the time, they sparked a movement that shook Africa and the Middle East.

photo by Phillipe Blayo; see the original image.

Mubarak Calls it Quits

January 25

Steeled by their Tunisian brothers in protest, Egyptians staged mass demonstrations organized by bloggers on the Internet that toppled the regime of that nation's long-time autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

photo by Darla Hueske

Good-bye Discovery

February 24

After 28 years of faithful service, the space shuttle Discovery left its launchpad for the last time. When it returned to earth, it began its new career as an exhibit at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Virginia.

photo by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center

Disaster in Japan

March 11

Spring is usually the time for cherry blossoms in Japan, but this year the season will be remembered for a devastating 8.9-magnitude earthquake that created widespread destruction along that nation's eastern coast and triggered a rampaging tsunami.

photo by International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies

Kate and Will Tie the Knot

April 29

Most everyone loves a wedding, and even more so when it's a royal one, so fans around the world of the British monarchy were delighted this year when Prince William said "I do" to Kate Middleton before some 1900 guests at Westminster Abbey in London. The only hitch in the ceremony was a slight pause as the groom struggled to slip his bride's ring on her finger.

photo by the British Monarchy

Operation Neptune Spear

May 2

There were some tense moments in the White House situation room as the President and his national security team monitored via live video the capture and killing of one of the world's most infamous terrorist leaders, Osama bin Laden.

photo by The White House

Joplin Twister

May 22

Late on a Sunday afternoon in May, a tornado of the highest magnitude on the Fujita scale, EF5, ripped through the southern part of Joplin, Missouri. It was the third twister to wreak havoc on the city since 1971, and caused an estimated $3 billion in damage to the city.

photo by Aaron Fuhman; see the original image.

Sore Losers

June 15

The popular notion that Canadians are a polite and law-abiding lot was trashed, along with downtown Vancouver, as disappointed fans of the city's NHL franchise rioted following its defeat at the sticks of the Boston Bruins in this year's Stanley Cup final.

photo by K-Rock Design

Fiery Finale

July 8

An era in U.S. space exploration came to an end with the final voyage of the space shuttle Atlantis. The shuttles were the only winged aircraft to orbit the earth and to make multiple trips into orbit.

photo by NASA/Bill Ingalls

Independence Day

July 9

Following a long civil war in which an estimated 1.5 million people died, South Sudan finally became an independent state as the country's first president, Salva Kiir, signed its constitution and took his oath of office. The first state to recognize the world's youngest nation was Sudan, which South Sudan had been fighting for decades.

photo by Steve Evans

Wizard's End

July 14

Although the final book in the Harry Potter series was published in 2007, fans of the circle-spectacled wand wielder still could look forward to his cinematic adventures -- until this year, when the final flick based on the novels was released. Well, there’s still the video games and the Pottermore website.

photo by Ginny Le

Good Night Irene

August 28

Hurricane Irene ploughed up the Eastern seaboard of the United States at summer's end. It was one of the most destructive and deadly storms to hit the nation since 1980.

photo by William Kurtz

Ten Years But Not Forgotten

September 11

The nation engaged in solemn remembrance of the events of September 11, 2001, when hijacked airliners manned by terrorists crashed into the World Trade Center in New York City, the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and a Pennsylvania field.

photo by Jason Powell

99 Percent

September 17

Fed up with growing disparities between the rich and the rest of the nation, protestors launched the Occupy Wall Street movement in New York City. Their battle cry was, "We are the 99 percent," a reference to one percent of the nation's population controlling 40 percent of its wealth.

photo by David Shankbone

Sixties Flashback

September 25

While the Occupy Wall Street protest began peacefully, things turned ugly when municipal authorities called on police to forcibly remove demonstrators from the park where they had created a tent community.

photo by Paul Weiskell

A Giant Falls

October 5

After a long battle with pancreatic cancer, the father of everything "i," Steve Jobs, 56, passed away in his home in California. His loss was mourned throughout the world.

photo by Louise Marston

No Blues in St. Louis

October 28

In one of the most improbable seasons in the long history of St. Louis's storied National League franchise, the Cardinals captured the crown of Major League Baseball by defeating the Texas Rangers and winning the World Series.

photo by Gregg Regula

Semper Fi

November 11

With so many members of the military fighting wars on foreign soil, the nation took a day, as did this marine, to participate in commemorative services on Veterans Day.

photo by Stephen Masker

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