REYKJAVIK, Iceland (October 9, 2007) — Yoko Ono urged the world to give peace a chance with the unveiling Tuesday of the Imagine Peace Tower on Videy island on what would have been husband John Lennon’s 67th birthday.
The former Beatle was shot dead outside their New York apartment building Dec. 8, 1980, by deranged fan Mark David Chapman.
Ono was to be joined at the ceremony by the couple’s son, Sean Lennon; Beatles drummer Ringo Starr; and bandmate George Harrison’s widow, Olivia. Paul McCartney also was invited, but it wasn’t known whether he would attend.
The tower is a stories-tall beam of light that will radiate from a wishing well bearing the words “imagine peace” in 24 languages. The plan is for the tower to be lit each year between Oct. 9 and Dec. 8.
Ono, 74, has said that she came up with the concept for the light tower in 1965, and that Lennon was interested.
“This is the biggest birthday present I gave to John,” she told The Associated Press last month. “He’s very, very happy about it, I know.”
Ono said she chose Iceland, the world’s northernmost country, because it is a very eco-friendly country that relies on geothermal energy.
“It’s so beautiful,” she said. “There’s a certain strangeness to it. I would like to say it’s magical.”