NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Yoko Ono invited fans to share their memories and their wishes for peace Monday, a day that marked the 34th anniversary of the assassination of John Lennon on the Upper West Side.
As she does every year, Ono invited fans to leave their messages on Facebook and Twitter, as well as to leave wishes on the webpage for “Imagine Peace Tower.” The outdoor artwork was commissioned by Ono on Viðey Island in Reykjavik, Iceland, and is composed of a beam of light pointed skyward.
Numerous fans took shared their tributes.
Fans also gather annually at the Strawberry Fields memorial in Central Park to remember Lennon by placing tributes at the “Imagine” mosaic and singing along to his songs.
On Dec. 8, 1980, Lennon and Ono posed for a photo shoot by Annie Liebovitz for Rolling Stone Magazine, and Lennon gave an interview to San Francisco DJ Dave Sholin, before leaving his home in the late afternoon for the Record Plant Studio, 321 W. 44th St., to mix the song “Walking on Thin Ice.” As Lennon and Ono left, 25-year-old unemployed security guard Mark David Chapman asked Lennon to autograph his copy of the recently-released “Double Fantasy” album, a request which Lennon obliged.
Chapman had come to New York specifically to murder Lennon, and had been stalking the Dakota building all day.
When Lennon returned from the recording session around 10:50 p.m., Chapman took aim directly at Lennon’s back and fired five shots. Lennon was rushed to St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center, where he was pronounced dead at 11:07 p.m. that night.
Chapman pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison.
“That bright light of fame, of infamy, notoriety was there. I couldn’t resist it,” Chapman said. “My self-esteem was shot, and I was looking for an easy way out.”
The board denied Chapman’s release because it believed he could commit a crime again or that someone might try to kill him.
Lennon would have turned 74 this past Oct. 9.
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