Thirty-two years ago, John Lennon was shot and killed by Mark Chapman outside his apartment in New York. Chapman, with a history
ranging from child abuse to becoming a Christian camp counselor, believed he was the protagonist in the novel “The Catcher in the Rye” and that he must kill Lennon because Lennon was a phony. On December 8, 1980, Lennon was killed and the whole world mourned and has been mourning since. I was born decades after the Beatles broke up and nine years after Lennon was shot, but like the majority of young adults, I grew up listening to The Beatles because of my parents. To this day I have yet to meet anyone who did not like The Beatles – to me it would be un-American to not like The Beatles. Though music fads come and go The Beatles’ music is able to transcend through time and is the reason why thousands across the world still mourn for Lennon. Lennon was not just a popular singer/songwriter; he represented the idea of peace. Lennon asked the world in Imagine to imagine a world in which there was “Nothing to kill or die for.” Not only did he write songs preaching peace, he was such a strong protester of the Vietnam War that he was deemed a threat to President Nixon’s re-election and threatened with deportation.
In December every Christmas radio station plays “Happy Xmas (War is Over).” Though the song was released in 1971 to protest the Vietnam War, the song is still relatable to the present day. Since 2001, the U.S. has lost 6,612 servicemen due to war in the Middle East (Faces of the Fallen). As Lennon wrote “A very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, let’s hope it’s a good one without any fear. War is over, if you want it, war is over, now.” As was the case with the Vietnam War, the United States entered another country without a decent plan, resulting in thousands of Americans dying. The fact that history repeats itself is a reason why his songs are relatable to every generation. If Lennon was still here, I bet he would still be protesting the wars.
Lennon’s songs are still able to unite a world; in the year 2,000 on the 20th anniversary of Lennon’s shooting, Cuban President Fidel Castro unveiled a statue of John Lennon on the 10th anniversary of his death in Havana, Cuba. Castro is no John Lennon for he is famous for taking away humans’ rights, but the fact that he allowed a sculpture in Lennon shows how Lennon is an image of peace in any country. Lennon painted a world where women would be equal to men, where the color of one’s skin would not matter, and where there would be no more wars. Lennon was taken from the world too soon, which is why it is up to us to keep working for the world that Lennon imagined.