The Decade in Pictures

A look back at the most important and arresting images captured during the past 10 years

Barack Obama takes the oath of office from Chief Justice John Roberts, not seen, as his wife, Michelle, holds the Lincoln Bible and daughters Sasha, right, and Malia watch at the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Tuesday Jan. 20.

Chuck Kennedy / POOL MCT

Soldiers from the U.S. Army First Battalion, 26th Infantry take a defensive position at firebase Restrepo after taking fire from Taliban positions in the Korengal Valley of Afghanistan's Kunar Province on May 11. Spc. Zachery Boyd of Fort Worth, Texas, left, manned his post in "I love NY" boxer shorts and flip-flops after rushing from his sleeping quarters. To Boyd's right are Spc. Jordan Custer of Spokane, Wash., and Spc. Cecil Montgomery of Many, La.

David Guttenfelder / AP

Hundreds of thousands of supporters of leading opposition candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi turn out to protest the result of Iran's presidential election at a rally in Azadi Square in Tehran on June 15. Days of massive demonstrations and sometimes violent crackdowns by government forces followed the declaration that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had been re-elected.

Ben Curtis / AP

A man shouts for help to save a woman from raging floodwaters Oct. 7 in Sao Jose do Rio Preto, Brazil. Several drivers were trapped in their cars after heavy rain caused flooding. The woman was reportedly rescued.

Sidnei Costa / Agencia Bom Dia / AG.BOM DIA/AG.GLOBO

Residents of an apartment building throw 9-month-old Onur Celar from a fourth-floor window to rescuers below Feb. 3 in Ludwigshafen, Germany. A fire started on the first floor, trapping residents above, but a policeman safely caught the girl. The fire killed nine people and injured 28.

Rene Werse / DDP

Relatives cry next to the body of a student near a school in Hanwang Town, Mianzhu County, Sichuan province, on May 14. China faced a daunting rebuilding task to replace millions of homes, schools and businesses destroyed by the May 12 earthquake, which killed more than 68,000 people.

Jason Lee / X01757

An old barn stands in a wheat field as a powerful thunderstorm passes overhead near Ogallah, Kan., on May 22. Severe thunderstorms spawned tornadoes across much of northwest Kansas that day.

Charlie Riedel / AP

Buildings, boats and debris are pushed against a railroad bridge over the swollen Cedar River on June 14 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Rain that began falling in early June caused flooding in the upper Midwest that drove tens of thousands from their homes and caused billions of dollars in damage.

Jeff Roberson / AP

A Georgian man holds the body of a relative after a Russian warplane dropped a bomb on an apartment block in Gori, 50 miles from Tbilisi, on Aug. 9. At least five people were killed. In August, Georgia and Russia fought a short war over the region known as South Ossetia.

Gleb Garanich / X00550

Protesters hold signs behind Richard Fuld, chairman and chief executive of Lehman Brothers Holdings. Fuld testified Oct. 6 before a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing in Washington on the causes and effects of the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy.

Jonathan Ernst / X01676

Two Cape grey squirrels fight for dominance at a campground at Etosha National Park in Namibia on Dec. 5. A colony of the squirrels, which are poor tree climbers, so they tend to live below ground in burrows, ventured to the surface to forage for food.

David Slater / UPPA

Firefighters work to extinguish a blaze after a truck loaded with aluminum powder exploded in Wuxi, in east China's Jiangsu province, on Jan. 2. No one was injured.

China Daily / X01745

A Riga, Latvia, city worker stands on a manhole cover he removed to allow floodwater in Riga's Krasta Street to escape like bathwater down the drain Jan. 15. A storm the night before brought torrential rain, causing flooding throughout the city.

Andrejs Strokins / AFI

A tugboat pushes a load of barges along the Mississippi River toward Winfield, Mo., on Feb. 8. Barge traffic was slowed by winter weather and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' decision to limit barge loads so they could slip through ice-coated locks.


Shoppers mingle with merchants, snake charmers and storytellers at Djamaa El Fnaa square in Marrakesh, Morocco, on Feb. 21.

Rafael Marchante / X01620

A crocodile clutches the lower left arm of veterinarian Chang Po-yu at the Shoushan Zoo in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, on April 11. The croc bit Chang's arm off when he tried to remove a tranquilizer dart. Two bullets were fired at the croc, but it was unharmed. The arm was reattached.

Steve Chen / AP

Police carry wounded students out of Norris Hall at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., on April 16. Senior Seung-Hui Cho, 23, opened fire in a dorm and then in an engineering building before killing himself in the deadliest school shooting in U.S. history -- 33 dead, including the shooter.


Mary McHugh visits the grave of her fiancé, Sgt. James Regan, in Section 60, the newest portion of Arlington National Cemetery, outside Washington, D.C., on May 27. Regan, a U.S. Army Ranger, was killed by an improvised explosive device in Iraq in February.

John Moore / Getty Images North America

A salsify plant displays its intricate patterns in a field near Great Falls, Mont., on July 2. The wildflower, also known as showy goat's-beard, forms a seed head that resembles a dandelion's but is much larger.


Two planes from the Zelazny aerobatics team collide during a performance at an air show in Radom, Poland, on Sept. 1 as a third plane in the maneuver, left, passes by unscathed. Both pilots in the collision died, but there were no injuries reported in the crowd.

Darek Redos / AP

A survivor stands amid the carnage left by the assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto on Dec. 27 in Rawalpindi. Bhutto was shot in the neck after speaking at an election rally. A suicide bomber blew himself up seconds later, killing at least 15 others.

John Moore / Getty Images AsiaPac

A Jewish settler struggles with Israeli security officers as authorities evacuate the Amona settlement in the West Bank on Feb. 1. Thousands of troops clashed with hundreds of settlers after the Supreme Court cleared the way for the demolition of nine homes in the illegal settlement.

Oded Balilty / AP

A ladybug crawls across the ridges of a plastic fence covering during a baseball game March 17 in Gray, La. The bug spent the second and third innings crawling around the plastic tubing, then flew away.

Matt Stamey / THE COURIER

President Bush waves to the press after making remarks about the war in Iraq after arriving from the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington on March 19.

Gerald Herbert / AP

A personal watercraft leaves a pattern in the waters of the North Fork of the St. Lucie River in Stuart, Fla., on April 5.

Jason Nuttle / STUART NEWS

Indonesia's Mount Merapi spouts lava and thick smoke as seen from Tunggularum village in Yogyakarta on May 14. Indonesia raised the alert status for the volcano to the highest level the day before, prompting compulsory evacuation of thousands living on the slopes. The mountain continued to rumble and spout into the next year.

Weda / EPA

Prisoners hold one guard hostage with a knife at his throat as two others lie bound on the floor at the Campo Mourao prison in Parana, Brazil, on May 15. Deadly gang violence in the streets of Sao Paulo was mirrored in the Brazilian prison system.

Dirceu Portugal / AP

Young ladies attending a 10-girl tea party jump on a trampoline before tucking into drinks and snacks July 9 in Donnellson, Iowa. Judy Felt throws the annual party in her princess-friendly back yard.

Courtney Hergesheimer / THE HAWK EYE

One of two daughters of Jalil Shaalan, a school security guard, reacts after her father was shot down in front of them outside the school by unknown gunmen. The incident happened in the Amarayah district of Baghdad on July 21.

Hadi Mizban / AP

A makeshift tomb at a New Orleans street corner Sept. 4 conceals a body that had been lying on the sidewalk for days in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The Category 4 storm had hit the city almost a week earlier, on Aug. 29. Nearly 2,000 people died in the hurricane and subsequent floods, making it one of the deadliest storms in U.S. history.

Dave Martin / AP

A group of crested macaques, more accustomed to tropical rain forests in Indonesia, huddle together for warmth in Dublin Zoo in Dublin, Ireland, on Dec. 30. The primates are endangered in their own land because of hunting and the clearing of their native habitat.

Niall Carson / PA

A Haitian child loots a piece of meat Feb. 27 at Port-au-Prince's main commercial seaport as news of anti-government rebels' nearing the city throws the capital into chaos.

Shaul Schwarz

Victims sit on the tracks just outside Madrid's Atocha station as they are tended by rescue workers after deadly explosions March 11. Ten nearly simultaneous blasts killed 182 people on packed Madrid commuter trains. Investigators found the attacks were directed by an al-Qaida-inspired terrorist cell.

Pablo Torres Guerrero/el Pais / X80002

Iraqis chant anti-American slogans as the charred bodies of two Americans hang from a bridge over the Euphrates River in Fallujah on March 31. The Americans were employees of Blackwater Security Consulting killed by an Iraqi mob.

Khalid Mohammed / AP

Pfc. Lynndie England of the 372nd Military Police Company holds a leash around the neck of a man at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison in this image published in The Washington Post on May 6. In September 2005, England was sentenced to three years in prison in a court-martial for abuses at Abu Ghraib.


A bystander, left, yells "stop" as a driver, identified by police as Mary Schopp, 31, nearly runs over Oscar Hadley, 88, on Aug. 3. Hadley suffered minor injuries from the accident in a Kalispell, Mont., grocery store parking lot. Schopp received a ticket.


A boy cries after he and other hostages were freed Sept. 3 by special forces from a school in Beslan, southern Russia, after a three-day siege by terrorists ended with more than 330 people dead.

Sergei Dolzhenko / EPA

A woman mourns Dec. 28 in Cuddalore, India, over the death of a relative in a tsunami that struck around the Indian Ocean two days before. A magnitude 9.0 earthquake triggered massive waves, killing more than 200,000 and dislocating millions in one of the worst natural disasters in modern history.

Arko Datta / X01337

Sister Rosa Elena, right, hits Sister Amanda de Jesus with a snowball after class Jan. 22 at Mount St. Michael's Seminary in Spokane, Wash. The two nuns, visiting from Mexico, said it was the first time they had ever seen snow.


California Highway Patrol officers try to rescue Jorge Dominguez, who was threatening to kill himself March 1 at the interchange between State Route 55 and I-405 in Orange County. The officers lost their grip when the 32-year-old Tustin man pushed off with his free leg, and he fell about 60 feet. He suffered extensive injuries but survived.

Sean Hiller

U.S. Marines from the 3rd Battalion urge infantrymen to rush across the damaged Baghdad Highway Bridge on April 7 while under Iraqi fire on the capital's southeastern outskirts. A U.S. and multinational force invaded Iraq March 20, 2003.

Kuni Takahashi / BOSTON HERALD

A statue of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein falls in central Baghdad on April 9. U.S. troops pulled down the 20-foot-high statue as Iraqis danced on the surrounding plaza. For many, the scenes were reminiscent of the 1989 fall of the Berlin Wall. Despite the seeming quick victory, 2003 was just the start of a U.S.-led occupation of Iraq that lasted through 2009.

Goran Tomasevic / X90012

An Iraqi family mourns the death of three relatives in Baghdad, Iraq, on April 10. The three -- a father, his teenage son and another male relative -- were shot and killed by U.S. Marines the night before after the car they were driving allegedly did not stop while passing a building occupied by the Marines.


A meerkat warms itself under a heat lamp July 3 at Taronga Zoo in Sydney, Australia, where unseasonably cold weather led zookeepers to give the sun a helping hand.

Will Burgess / X00331

A soldier loyal to the Liberian government shouts a battle call after firing a rocket-propelled grenade at rebel forces July 23 at a key front-line bridge in Monrovia, Liberia. President Charles Taylor went into exile the next month and is now on trial in the Hague for atrocities committed in Sierra Leone.

Chris Hondros / Getty Images Europe

A firefighter battles a wildfire in the back yard of a home in the Stevenson Ranch area near Santa Clarita, Calif., on Oct. 29.


Mohboba, 7, with ointment applied to her face for a skin ailment called leishmaniasis, stands against a bullet-pocked wall waiting to be treated at a health clinic March 1 in Kabul, Afghanistan. The parasitic disease plagues many poverty-stricken children in Afghanistan.

Paula Bronstein / Getty Images

An SU-27 fighter crashes into a crowd July 27 at an air show in Lviv, Ukraine, killing 83 people. Prosecutors blamed pilot error and poor planning, saying organizers should not have allowed stunts over spectators.

Oleg Nikishin / Getty Images Europe

Agriculture and industry meet in a surreal scene beneath a rainbow near the power plant at Grosskrotzenburg, Germany, on Nov. 25.

Kai Pfaffenbach / X00446

After being swallowed, a rainbow trout fingerling peers out from the gullet of a northern pike Jan. 22 in a lobby aquarium exhibit at the Alaska Department of Fish & Game in Anchorage, Alaska. The agency declared "open season" on the illegally transplanted trout-killing, salmon-slaying northern pike in local waterways.


Mallard ducklings wait their turn May 14 as a sibling struggles to make it up a curb in South Bend, Ind. The mother, who had already cleared the obstacle, flirted with traffic for 20 minutes before leading her offspring safely across the busy road.


Rescue personnel view a badly burned miner at the Zasyadko mine in Donetsk, Ukraine, on Aug. 19. Dozens of miners were killed and several were injured in a methane gas explosion in a coal mine.

Sergei Vaganov / EPA

Hijacked United Airlines Flight 175 from Boston crashes into the south tower of the World Trade Center and explodes at 9:03 a.m. on Sept. 11 in New York City. The crash of two airliners hijacked by terrorists loyal to al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden caused the collapse of the twin towers. A third airliner was crashed into the Pentagon in Arlingon, Va., and a fourth into a field in Shanksville, Pa. In total, 2,974 victims and the 19 hijackers died in the attacks.

Spencer Platt / Getty Images North America

A Chechen woman from Grozny looks through a bus window while crossing the Chechen-Ingush border from Chechnya on Jan. 10, not far from the Ingush village of Sleptsovskaya, a haven for refugees fleeing the fighting between Russian troops and Chechen rebels. Large-scale fighting would not end until 2009.

Alexander Nemenov / AFP

A Border Patrol agent confronts Donato Dalrymple, holding 6-year-old Elian Gonzalez inside a bedroom closet at the home of the Cuban boy’s Miami relatives on April 22. Elian had been found clinging to an inner tube off the south Florida coast, sparking a high-profile custody battle between his relatives in Miami and his father in Cuba. The boy was seized in the raid and eventually returned to his father.

Alan Diaz / AP

A passenger in another plane snapped this photo of Air France Flight 4590 as the Concorde trailed flames during its takeoff from Paris on July 25. Moments later, the supersonic jet crashed, killing all 109 people on board and five more on the ground.

Toshihiko Sato / AP

Wildfires ran rampant throughout the American West during the summer of 2000. This picture of a pair of cow elk framed in a wildfire near Sula, Mont., was taken Aug. 6 -- but it took until mid-September for journalists to track down who snapped the picture, fire behavior analyst John McColgan.

John Mccolgan

A video frame from France 2 television coverage shows Jamal Aldura and his 12-year-old son, Mohammed, cowering behind a barrel during Israeli-Palestinian clashes in Netzarim in the Gaza Strip on Sept. 30. Seconds later, a bullet struck Mohammed in the abdomen, killing him. His father was wounded by a bullet and shrapnel. The video sparked a worldwide outcry.

- / AFP

Citadel football players Corey White and Aaron Capps try to keep cool at Johnson Hagood Stadium in Charleston, S.C., on Aug. 13. The summer of 2000 was the 11th warmest since the United States began keeping records in 1895.