Tribute sites and memorials in Liverpool, New York, Prague and Reykjavik
It’s certainly be no understatement to suggest that John Lennon’s impact on the world of music was immense, and his legacy lives on today through his extensive back catalogue of work both as a solo artist and with The Beatles, and indeed through the efforts of his surviving family to keep his memory and his principles of world peace alive. Across the world, there are tributes dedicated to John Lennon in varying shapes and forms. I take a look at just a few of them here…
A natural starting point for any John Lennon memorial would be his home town of Liverpool and in 2010, on what would have been John’s 70th birthday, Cynthia and Julian Lennon unveiled the European Peace Monument, serving as a tribute to John’s enduring message of peace. Situated at Kings Dock along the Liverpool Waterfront, the monument was commissioned by the Global Peace Initiative and was crafted from hand-painted metal with a white glass feather placed at the top, a symbol of John’s spirit and of peace.
From his birthplace to the city of his untimely demise, New York’s Strawberry Fields is situated in Central Park and represents a living memorial to the singer, songwriter and peace activist. Named after the song Strawberry Fields Forever, the memorial site covers some 2½ acres, the focal point of which is a beautiful circular mosaic created by Italian stone workers using stones sent from countries all over the world. At its centre of the circle is the word ‘imagine’, continuously covered with candles, flowers and poems. The entrance to the John Lennon Strawberry Fields Memorial is located on West 72nd Street and Central Park West, directly opposite the Dakota Apartment in which Lennon lived when he was killed.
In Prague meanwhile, situated near the French Embassy in Mala Strana you’ll find the John Lennon Peace Wall, covered with Lennon-inspired graffiti and lyrics from Beatles songs. Whilst Lennon never actually visited Prague, his message of peace inspired huge swathes of young people living in Central and Eastern Europe during the communist era. When John died in 1980, his face was painted on the wall as a defiant message to the totalitarian authorities of the former Czechoslovakia and from there it grew into a permanent shrine.
Just off the coast of Reyjavík on Kollafjörður Bay’s Viðey Island lies the Imagine Peace Tower, a memorial to John Lennon unveiled in 2007 by his widow, Yoko Ono. Projected from a white stone monument into which “Imagine Peace” is carved in 24 different languages, the tower consists of a tall beam of light shooting vertically into the sky, reaching heights of up to 4,000 metres. The tower is lit every day at 8pm until sunrise from the 9th of October (John’s birthday) all the way through until the 8th of December, the day on which he was shot, as well as on New Year’s Eve and Yoko Ono’s birthday (February 18th). It is also lit from 8pm until midnight on the Winter Solstice and during the first week of spring.
And finally, right up in the northern extremities of Scotland in the town of Durness is the John Lennon Memorial Garden. John’s grandmother lived here and every year as a child, John would come and visit her on the coast. Situated next to the village hall, it’s a very small and simple plot but no round-up of John Lennon memorials would be complete without mentioning it!