Sometime in New York City

by K-Berens
John Lennon's Imagine memorial Central park

Over one million fans continue to visit the John Lennon Imagine mosaic in NYC’s Central Park every year.

John Lennon’s tragic, unexpected death on December 8, 1980 caused a worldwide outpouring of emotion. Lennon, a hero to many, was shot in the back by a deranged fan named Mark David Chapman outside of his New York City apartment after an interview one night.

Lennon’s wife, Yoko Ono, wasn’t particularly interested in having a standard funeral for the love of her life. Ono, an accomplished artist, asked for many people around the world to pray for Lennon on December 14th, 1980 at 2 p.m.. Silent prayer spoke volumes around the world as groups of people made their way out on the wintery streets to show their support for the deceased harbinger of world peace.

There was an impressive turnout in New York City – 100,000 people gathered on the streets to silently pray for Lennon. The city had apparently designated 300 police officers to maintain the peace and security of the crowd, but no fights broke out. This silence was seen as an epilogue to the silence around the world as The Beatles first appeared on the Ed Sullivan show in 1964 – the world stopped as they became a part of history.

On what was supposed to be the 45th birthday of Lennon, almost five years after his death, Ono purchased a plot of land in Central Park and named it Strawberry Fields. The officially recognized Garden of Peace contains quiet benches and a mosaic named the Imagine Peace Circle, where an estimated one million people go to pay their respects each year.

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