Imagine … 40 Years Since John Lennon’s Assassination

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The pandemic makes me lose my sense of calendar, so I missed a very important date. Last night marked the 40th anniversary of John Lennon’s death. On December 8, 1980, he was murdered by Mark David Chapman, who was inspired by Lennon’s statement that The Beatles were “more popular than Jesus,” the book Catcher in the Rye, and by the lyrics to Imagine.

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people living for today

Imagine theres no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people living life in peace, you

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people sharing all the world, you

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

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Photo by Jack Mitchell

Lennon was only 40 when he was assassinated. I was 35 at the time and had lived through many assassinations. Starting with President Kennedy and Medgar Evers in 1963, followed by civil rights activists Andrew Goodman, Mickey Schwerner, and James Chaney in 1964, Malcolm X in 1965, Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy in 1968, Fred Hampton in 1969, George Moscone and Harvey Milk in 1978.

Still, John Lennon’s assassination was so shocking. I try to imagine “all the people living life in peace” and “all the people sharing all the world.” Well, that never happened. Rest in peace, John. The world has not forgotten your music and, despite our bitterly divided country, your message is one I hope we will embrace in the future.

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November 2017

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Boomer. Educator. Advocate. Eclectic topics: grandkids, special needs, values, aging, loss, & whatever. Author: Terribly Strange and Wonderfully Real.

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