Photos That Made The World Stand Still In 2015

Too many times this year, the world has come together in mourning.

We grieved for the 130 people killed in the November terror attacks in Paris. The world also mourned the hundreds of other people who were victims of similar attacks in Beirut, Mali, and elsewhere. Many of us felt powerless when faced with images of the thousands of people who died and many more who lost everything when a devastating earthquake struck Nepal.

The world woke up to the gravity of the refugee crisis when images of a teeny Syrian toddler who drowned as his family tried to make it to Greece were published on front pages around the world. We learned the personal stories of some of the millions of other refugees risking their lives as they fled conflict and persecution in their home countries. We remembered those whose lives were forever changed when the United States dropped two atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki 70 years ago.

But 2015 was also filled with moments of celebration, triumph, and progress. The world proved that love can beat terror as we came together to #prayforparis and rallied behind calls for tolerance and peace. Brave, admirable women led the charge on important issues around the world, earning major kudos along the way.

Nations large and small agreed on a landmark plan to tackle climate change. We met strong refugee women whose resilience in the toughest of circumstances inspired us. Canada's young, new leader opened the country's arms to other refugee families in need. And a new English princess was born.

Through it all, striking photography connected us with moments of sorrow and joy around the globe. Ahead, a collection of images that captured some of the biggest stories to shape the world in 2015.

Editor's note: Some of the images may be disturbing to some readers. The Associated Press and Getty Images contributed to the captions to this report.

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