The Journey of 2011: A Retrospective

The Earth

Many will say good riddance to 2011.  Their hopes are that 2012 will be better, much better.

2011 brought its share of global misery.  Personal tragedy is always part of the annual cycle.  Joys and sorrows are the fabric of our daily lives.

On this blog we have examined some of these stories.  Unfortunately, there is not enough time to circle the globe to report on the tragedies and heartache which touch the lives of all the people.

We have seen regime changes in North Africa and the Middle East.  North Korea has a new ruler with hopes that peace will be realized for that global region and prosperity will come to the people of this nation.

The Iraq War “ended”.  According to the Associate Press of the 4500 USA Service personnel killed, the average age was 26.  1300 of the 4500 were 22 or younger. 511 were 35 or older.

Coalition Forces suffered losses as well.  The iCasualties link below has a breakdown:  the highest numbers were from the United Kingdom, Italy, Poland, and Ukraine.

The Drought in East Africa is affecting millions of men, women and children.  When you add the wars to this region, you have a hell on earth.

In October the earth’s population reached 7 billion.  This staggering number proffers challenges and opportunities for the world leaders.

Here are some sad tidbits of news from 2011:

The illegal ivory trade has increased in 2011.  2500 elephants and 443 South African rhinos were butchered for their tusks and horns.

Scott McLaren, Royal Regiment of Scotland, was murdered and tortured in Nahr-e-Saraj district of Helmand, Afghanistan on July 4.  This young man from Edinburgh was on his first tour of duty and was 20 years old.

US Army Spc. David Emanuel Hickman of Greensboro, North Carolina died November 14.  He is listed as the last combat death of the war.  He was 23.

About one in seven people on this planet traversing the cosmos do not have sufficient food and water to meet their daily needs. These men, women and children are our brothers and sisters.

On the positive side of 2011:

The Nobel Peace Prize went to three remarkable women: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkol Karman “for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work”.  These women are on the frontline of global change for the women of earth.

The wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton was a Spring highlight.  Catherine has become a beacon of smiling optimism with grace and elegance as well as down-to-earth wholesomeness.

The search for extraterrestrial life continues.  Is Kepler 22-b an exoplanet like many others out there?  Probably.  We are not alone in the cosmic community.

Conclusion:

2012: let’s remember that in 2012 we can make a difference by our decisions and choices. You are important. Embrace 2012 with its opportunities and challenges; its joys and sorrows; and its dreams and hopes.

May you have a great beginning to 2012 as well as a middle and an ending. Live life fully.

On December 31, 2012 may you have no regrets as you review 2012.

311

G. D. Williams       © 2012

Some other news from 2011:

Photos: Worst natural disasters of 2011 Vancouver Sun

http://www.vancouversun.com/news/Photos+Worst+natural+disasters+2011/5920274/story.html

The Daily Mail: Ivory

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2079791/Worst-year-elephants-ivory-trade-banned-large-scale-tusk-smuggling-hits-record-high.html

Scott McLaren

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2072158/Scott-McLaren-went-night-vision-goggles-caught-murdered-Taliban.html

ABC News

http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/us-iraq-war-death-23-year-nc-soldier-15182911#.Tv5BqVauGSo

iCasualties

http://icasualties.org/Iraq/Index.aspx

The Royal Wedding

http://www.officialroyalwedding2011.org/

The Australian: Year in Review

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/in-depth/2011-year-in-review?from=hot-topics-home

Pointless Apologies of 2011

http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-pointless-apologies-pg,0,4642116.photogallery

Five Big Political Gaffes USA

http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Politics/2011/1229/A-year-of-oops-five-big-political-gaffes-of-2011/Anthony-Weiner-s-bizarre-Twitter-lesson

2011 Protests

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/29/protests-worldwide-2011_n_1175091.html?ref=canada&ir=Canada

2011 Notable Deaths

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/27/2011-notable-deaths-obituaries_n_1165937.html

Recipients of 2011 Global Forum Educator Awards

http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2011/nov11/11-10EdAwardsPR.mspx

Nobel Peace Prize 2011

http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/2011/

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