Images form one of the foundational ways in which we come to remember the people and events that shaped a particular period of time. They become part of the collective consciousness, with many of them lingering there for some time, while others, like so much of history, slowly but inexorably fade from memory.
For example, when it comes to Iraq, the photos of abuse at Abu Ghraib will most likely serve as that war's equivalent of Vietnam's "Napalm Girl": a bracing image that reminds those thousands of miles away of the agony and horror of foreign wars that we, from a safe distance, can only scarcely begin to understand.
From Bush to Bin Laden, Mumbai to Madrid, Elian to Zidane, the decade now coming to a close produced countless images that, if they aren't already, may someday be regarded as iconic representations of the first ten years of the 21st century. Take a look at the collection below and vote for the photos you think best capture the decade that was.