NEW YORK - Some met John Lennon in person; others knew him from television; still others never knew him at all. On Thursday, they gathered by the hundreds in Central Park's Strawberry Fields to remember the rock star slain 25 years ago by a deranged Beatles fan.
Generations from across the world united to celebrate Lennon's life and his message of peace - playing his music, singing his songs, imagining what might have been if the ex-Beatle had survived.
Yoko Ono walked through hundreds of fans before stopping at a flower-covered mosaic paying tribute to Lennon with its one-word message: "IMAGINE."
"His message is still the same: Peace and love and live the best you can," said Martha Wagner, who came into Manhattan from Dover, N.J., with a scrapbook full of newspaper clippings about Lennon.
Kim Polson, 50, of Manhattan, recalled seeing Lennon in an Upper West Side coffee shop four months before he died. She was late for work that day, hanging around and listening to his conversation.
"I'll be late for work again today," said Polson, one of the early arrivals at Strawberry Fields on the anniversary - a bitterly cold day. "John Lennon made me late again."
The scene was much the same in Lennon's hometown of Liverpool, England, where fans from around the world remembered him with white balloons, flowers and prayers.
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