John Lennon died 31 years ago today in front of his New York City apartment building, leaving behind a legacy of iconic music and a message of peace.
News of the Beatle’s murder by deranged fan Mark David Chapman was announced to millions of TV viewers by Howard Cosell during “Monday Night Football.” Others, like my mother who was a college student at the time, got a phone call from a friend. She traveled to New York to stand outside The Dakota to grieve with hundreds of others. Today, millions remember his work with the Beatles, as a solo musician and an advocate for a more peaceful world.
Thousands of people have shared tributes on ImaginePeace.com, Yoko Ono’s site dedicated to her late husband. The Imagine Peace Tower in Iceland, a memorial constructed from white stone and 15 beams of light, was turned on in October to mark Lennon’s birthday and will stay lit until tonight. It will be turned on again in late December and again in March. A live stream of the Tower can be seen on the memorial’s site.
“Now that John's a spirit, he has a different effect on people than when he was alive,” she told the Sun. “Spirits talk on a pure level and don't get distracted by people saying things like, 'That's nice, but why's he wearing that?' ... Of course, it would still be better if John was around.”
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This post has been updated.