Joined: Sat May 29, 2004 11:46 pm
|Imagine Peace—A Ray of Light in Dark Times
John Lennon would have turned 67 years old last week had he not been murdered in 1980, at the age of 40, by a mentally disturbed fan. On his birthday, Oct. 9, his widow, peace activist and artist Yoko Ono, realized a dream they shared. In Iceland, she inaugurated the Imagine Peace Tower, a pillar of light emerging from a wishing well, surrounded on the ground by the phrase “Imagine Peace” in 24 languages.
The legacy of Lennon is relevant now more than ever. The Nixon administration spied on him and tried to deport him, all because he opposed the war in Vietnam. Parallel details of the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretap program and the Pentagon’s participation in domestic spying, with mass roundups of immigrants, are chilling, and the lessons vital.
Ono conceived the peace tower 40 years ago, at the outset of her relationship with Lennon. She grew up in Japan, surviving the firebombing of Tokyo. She told me, “Because of that memory of what I went through in the Second World War, it is embedded in me how terrible it is to go through war.”
She continued: “I thought of building a light tower, and John loved that idea, this light tower that just emerges once in a while. And so, he actually invited me in 1967, the first time that he invited me to his house. I thought it was a party or something, but, no, it was a very quiet day. And he said, ‘Well, actually, I invited you because I wanted to know if you can build the lighthouse in my garden,’ and I said: ‘Oh, dear, no, no. It’s just a conceptual idea. I don’t know how to build anything,’ and I was just laughing. But that’s when he wanted this light tower, and that was 40 years ago.”
"Behind every great fortune lies a great crime."
Honore de Balzac
"Democrats work to help people who need help.
That other party, they work for people who don't need help.
That's all there is to it."
~Harry S. Truman