Forty years ago, the world lost a true musical legend and peace activist – John Lennon.

The Beatles singer-songwriter, whose music touched the heart and soul of people around the world – was shot and killed by a fan outside his apartment in New York on December 8, 1980.

But 40 years since his death, there is no doubt John Lennon has remained one of the world’s most beloved and respected people.

Lennon’s Beatles bandmate and songwriting partner Paul McCartney shared a touching photo yesterday to mark the former’s death anniversary. He posted, “A sad sad day but remembering my friend John with the great joy he brought to the world.”

Ringo Starr also paid tribute to Lennon by sharing another personal photo.

“Tuesday, 8 December 1980 we all had to say goodbye to John peace and love John. I’m asking every music radio station in the world sometime today play Strawberry Fields.”

The 1967 Beatles’ hit Strawberry Fields Forever is about Lennon’s insecurities and tough childhood. The title of the song refers to the orphanage that Lennon lived near growing up Liverpool. Young John Lennon, who lived with his aunt, would often go in secret to play in the gardens of Strawberry Field. It was probably where he found comfort and peace amidst all the chaos in his own home.

In an interview in1980, Lennon explained his childhood thinking, “There was something wrong with me, I thought, because I seemed to see things other people didn’t see.”

Lennon’s son, Sean, also took to social media to remember his father. While eldest son Julian posted a simple, classic photo of his dad taken by Tom Hanley in 1971.

Lennon’s wife, Yoko Ono, posted a jarring photo of blood-stained glasses – the ones Lennon was wearing when he was shot. Ono uses her husband’s death anniversary every year to call for fast action against gun violence.

Fans of the music legend also set up flowers and candles, and played Beatles songs at the Central Park’s Strawberry Fields section, just steps from where Lennon was shot.

Photos of the icon ringed the inlaid Imagine mosaic, along with a magazine, a small tree and other memorabilia, as musicians played nearby.

Fans offer flowers and candles as they remember John Lennon on the 40th anniversary of his death. (Reuters)

Using the power of music, John Lennon sincerely pushed for advocacy against violence and truthfully worked for peace. He took a very active role in trying to persuade people to protest against the Vietnam War. Together with his wife Yoko, John joined peaceful protests. His song, “Give Peace a Chance”, became an anti-war song sang by half a million people who gathered on the second Vietnam Moratorium Day.

While it’s hard to believe that it has been four decades since his tragic death, the world will always remember how John Lennon’s music and idealism changed the society. And for that, we celebrate his life every day.

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