In December, we asked TFK readers to choose the most important newsmaker of 2012. More than 8,000 votes were cast, and the results are in! Who is TFK’s Person of the Year? For the fourth year in a row, TFK readers chose the 1.4 million men and women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. They proudly represent the U.S. while working overseas and they help our nation in times of crisis at home. The U.S. Armed Forces received more than 1,400 votes in TFK’s poll.
U.S. Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps received the second highest number of votes for Person of the Year. Phelps made a huge splash in the 2012 Summer Games, in London, England—his fourth Olympics. The strong and fast athlete won six medals, bringing his total Olympic medal count to 22. That makes Phelps the most decorated Olympian of all time. Chart-topping British pop group One Direction and 14-year-old student Malala Yousafzai, an influential voice for education and women’s rights in Pakistan, also received a high number of votes.
Helping at Home and Abroad
The men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces are known for their bravery in times of crisis. In 2012, the men and women of the military put their skills to work both at home and abroad.
When Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast on October 29, the U.S. Armed Forces were among the first to respond. More than 7,400 members of the Army National Guard responded to 11 states that were affected by the storm. They rescued people trapped in flooded homes, cleaned up debris, patrolled dangerous areas and provided food and transportation to victims. The efforts of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard are ongoing.
Active-duty military remain stationed in more than 150 countries, working toward peace and protecting freedom. In 2010, President Obama sent extra troops to Afghanistan to help protect the Afghani people and to train and guide Afghan security and military. In 2012, Obama brought the extra troops home.
Our armed forces are role models of physical determination, discipline and dedication. Sixteen military members proudly represented the United States in the 2012 Olympic Games.
“A TIME-Honored Tradition”
TFK’s Person of the Year announcement follows an 84-year-old tradition started by TIME magazine. At the end of each year, TIME editors recognize the person, group or (sometimes) idea that has influenced events and had the greatest impact on the world for the preceding 12 months.
TIME chose President Barack Obama for its 2012 Person of the Year. The President had a full schedule in 2012. In addition to running the United States, the Commander in Chief ran a campaign seeking a second term in the nation’s highest office. On November 6, 2012, Obama defeated Republican challenger Mitt Romney, ending a competitive campaign and looking ahead to another four years in the Oval Office.
Who will become TFK’s Person of the Year in 2013? Teaching kids about the people who are changing our world is something TFK aims to do every week. Together, we will watch world events unfold during the year ahead.