Ten years ago this month, the U.S. Supreme Court handed George W. Bush the presidential election, a decision that would define the first decade of the 21st century. That decade is ending, and it will go down in history as an age of anxiety—and hope, however short-lived—marked by notable, and in some cases, unprecedented, events: the most severe recession since the Great Depression, the election of an African-American president, the unifying force of social networking in contrast to deepening cultural, racial and class divides.
Yet mostly the first 10 years will be remembered for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Those unnecessary, ill-conceived wars that have wounded and killed hundreds of thousands of people: American soldiers, coalition forces, enemy combatants, Iraqi and Afghanistani civilians. And we have gained what? Nothing significant enough to justify the loss of human lives, the permanent physical and mental marring of untold numbers of people.
However dramatic, even cataclysmic, the world events, our own lives tend to change more gradually. As Indy photographers D.L. Anderson and Jeremy M. Lange have captured in these pictures, our lives are a mosaic of shared and private experiences: basketball games, music festivals, field trips and bowls of chili. Here's to those moments. And here's to the next 10 years. —Lisa Sorg