20 Moments That Will Forever Define 2014

2014 has not been an easy year. 2014 has come and gone almost before we blinked an eye. At least it felt like it. But it has left its mark.

These 20 moments of the year will be etched in memory for quite some time to come:

The Ferguson Protest Hug

2014 Moments

Sgt. Bret Barnum hugs 12-year-old Devonte Hart at a demonstration in Oregon following the police shooting of Michael Brown in Missouri.

Read More: Ferguson, Missouri Is America’s War Zone

Disappearance Of Flight MH370

2014 Moments

It was no doubt one of the biggest tragic mysteries of all times: A Malaysia Airlines international passenger flight MH370 disappeared without trace in March 2014. There is speculation galore but still no news as the year ends.

ISIS Kurds

2014 Moments

Fighters from the Islamic State wrecked havoc in tribal Kurdish villages in northern Syria. As a result thousands of Syrian residents, fearing for their lives, have been forced to flee.

300 Kidnapped Nigerian Girls

2014 Moments

The horror of this news can still be felt. Earlier this year nearly 300 girls were kidnapped by the Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram.

As soon as the news spread, the relatively dormant international community and criminally inactive Nigerian government sprung into action as the world demanded action against Boko Haram.

Twitter became the prominent forum for public reactions over the abduction. The hashtag #bringbackourgirls started trending on Twitter with millions of tweets demanding the release of the girls. "Bring Back Our Girls" also became the international slogan for protests and demonstrations around the world.

The World Cup-Brazil

2014 Moments

The 2014 Football World Cup took place in Brazil. The photo above, shared extensively online was a stark reminder of the economic divide in the country.

The World Cup Compassion

Brazil’s David Luiz and Colombia’s James Rodriguez gave the world this year’s most precious and inspirational World Cup moment.

After Brazil had won 2-1 against Colombia in their quarterfinal match on Friday, instead of celebrating the decisive victory with his team Luiz went straight up to his devastated and tearful opponent Rodriguez to console him and even exchanged their jerseys with him.

Brazil Lost The World Cup

Who can forget this face of sorrow?

Kiev Square, Ukraine

2014 Moments

This photo shared vastly on social media shows Ukraine’s Independence Square in Kiev, Ukraine, the center of the months-long anti-government protests in the country.

LOOK: Ukraine - The Most Chilling Protest Images You Will Ever See

California Drought

2014 Moments

California continues to suffer from the worst drought in a millennium. These images of the same reservoir in 2011 and 2014 show what the situation is like in a way that no number of words can. 

The Winter Olympics

2014 Moments

Logged in to be a disaster the Winter Olympics at Sochi, Russia, not only took off with a flare but went pretty well.

Apart from the image of the weird twin bathrooms that went viral, there were more serious issues of concern.

Read More: There’s More To Worry About At Sochi Winter Olympics Than Twin Toilets

Djokovic Shows His Tender Side To Ball Boy

2014 Moments

During his opening round match at the French Open Novak Djokovic had to suspend the match due tor rain.

But he just didn’t sit there. Much to the ball boy’s surprise, who stood over him with an umbrella, the Serbian former world No. 1 invited the kid to his bench, shared an umbrella and had a drink together making his day!

Here’s Why: Novak Djokovic Is The Coolest Tennis Player Ever

Robin William's Death

2014 Moments

The star, by far the most relatable face of humor and positivity, died in 2014, and we all lost perhaps the best artist and comedian in Robin Williams.

He left behind not only a legacy, but an irrefutable dose of awareness about the difficulties of fighting depression and addiction.

The Bearded Lady

2014 Moments

Austrian drag queen Conchita Wurst, popularly known as "the bearded lady," won the Eurovision Song Contest with the James Bond-theme-like ballad "Rise Like a Phoenix," before a global TV audience of about 180 million people in 45 countries.

The Missing Students Of Mexico

2014 Moments

The protests in Mexico started in September over the disappearance and murder of 43 students. On Sept. 26, 43 students from the Ayotzinapa Teacher College went missing and it remains unclear why. It has been linked to the drug mafia and local gang wars that take place in Mexico, along with the local mayor, his wife, and their police underlings. 

Israel’s Gaza Offensive

2014 Moments

In July this year, Astronaut Alexander Gerst tweeted his "saddest photo yet" snapped while flying over Gaza and Israel. The conflict that started with Israel’s operation “Protective Edge” on July 8, 2014, and killed 2,100 people and left thousands displaced in Gaza. Gruesome images of death and destruction, fear and chaos moved the world and kept our attention for 50 days.  

Malala Yousafzai

2014 Moments

Pakistan’s education activist and Taliban attack survivor Malala Yousafizai shared the 2014 Nobel Peace with India's anti-child labor advocate Kailash Satyarthi. The brave Pakistani girl was shot in the head by Taliban militants while on her way back from school. The tragedy didn’t bring her down but saw her becoming a power to be reckoned with. She is now more determined than ever to work for girls’ education in Pakistan and around the world.

Mt. Ontake Eruption – Japan

Moments 2014

Rescue workers are seen at Mt. Ontake, Japan, which erupted this September and killed 56 people. Situated in the Japanese island of Honshu, the volcano had last erupted in 1979, when it was declared active. But on Sept. 27 it blew up after 35 years, sending out plumes of gas, spraying large rocks and filling the surrounding area with toxic fumes.

Check Out: Volcano In Japan Erupts After 35 Years, Causing Massive Destruction- PHOTOS

Moscow "Celebrates" Obama’s Birthday

There are certainly people out there who aren't big Obama fans, but these Russian students, from the Moscow Student Initiative, take it a bit far.

They "celebrated" President Obama's 53rd birthday on Aug. 4 by projecting a light show in front of the U.S. embassy in Moscow depicting the president with a banana in his mouth.

The very same group also had a banner of President Obama in a caricature with the words "I don't see … I don't hear … I don't speak the truth to anybody,” on it.

Christoph Kramer's Goal

German midfielder Kramer scored a fantastic goal from inside the center circle in Borussia Mönchengladbach's Bundesliga clash with Borussia Dortmund. Having been fed by his teammate, the midfielder expertly lobbed the ball over goalkeeper Yann Sommer from a full 45 yards out. The only problem was that Sommer was his own teammate, meaning he had scored the greatest OWN goal of all-time.

Check Out: German Midfielder Scores The Most Beautiful Own Goal Of All-Time