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Lennon Fans Chat With Yoko Ono 32 Years After Assassination

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Fans exchanged messages via Facebook and Twitter with Yoko Ono this week, as Saturday marks the 32nd anniversary of John Lennon's murder in New York City.

On her Web site, Ono collected some of the tweets and Facebook messages she received for her weekly question and answer post. Many fans recalled expressed their admiration for Lennon, and asked Ono for her memories and thoughts.

"8 of december makes 32 years that John has died, what do you miss most about him?" asked "Batgirl Lennon" on Twitter. Ono answered "laughter."

"My mom told me wonderful bed time stories about you when I was growing up. I loved them, and I loved hearing about your art and poetry," wrote Matthew Stevens via Facebook. "My mom passed away two months ago. You and your art were a very special part of my childhood and a way my mother and I shared love together. My question is: what is a way in which you would suggest to use art or poetry to memorialize a lost love one?"

Replied Ono: "With John, I am lucky that we have had so many great memories of sharing art and music. I am sure you had with your mother, too. They will always stay in you with the love for the person who passed away."

Added Facebook user Liam Barwick, "Do you think John would be happy to know that he has made a very lasting impression in the world and that we all still love him and miss him?"

Ono answered. "I think he would be happier if he could see the world had finally become peaceful and full of love."

Ono said on Facebook that she comes to Japan every Dec. 8 to play a benefit concert. But fans regularly gather in New York to pay their respects each Dec. 8 at the Strawberry Fields memorial in Central Park, just east of the Dakota building at 72nd Street and Central Park West where Lennon lived an Ono continues to reside.

On Dec. 8, 1980, Lennon and Ono posed for a photo shoot by Annie Liebowitz for Rolling Stone Magazine, and Lennon gave an interview to San Francisco DJ Dave Sholin, before leaving his home in the late afternoon for the Record Plant Studio, 321 W. 44th St., to mix the song "Walking on Thin Ice." As Lennon and Ono left, 25-year-old unemployed security guard Mark David Chapman asked Lennon to autograph his copy of the recently-released "Double Fantasy" album, a request which Lennon obliged.

Chapman had come to New York specifically to murder Lennon, and had been stalking the Dakota building all day.

When Lennon returned from the recording session around 10:50 p.m., Chapman took aim directly at Lennon's back and fired five shots. Lennon was rushed to St. Luke's-Roosevelt Hospital Center, where he was pronounced dead at 11:07 p.m. that night.

Chapman pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison. He remains incarcerated.

The Strawberry Fields section of Central Park, where Lennon frequently walked, was dedicated with its "Imagine" mosaic in 1985.

This 32nd anniversary of Lennon's death happens to coincide with a month-long billboard campaign mounted by Ono in Times Square, promoting the message of peace for which she and Lennon became renowned. Every night from 11:57 p.m. to midnight through Dec. 30, 15 of the largest digital screens in Times Square are featuring Ono's video billboard film, "Imagine Peace."

The three-minute nightly screening is the largest coordinated effort by sign operators in Times Square to display synchronized creative content every night, Ono said in a news release.

"John Lennon's 'Imagine' is the last song played on New Year's Eve just before 11:59 p.m., when the ball on 1 Times Square begins to descend. Yoko Ono's 'Imagine Peace' is undoubtedly a perfect match for the December Times Square Moment program as it taps into many people's hope for a better world, the sentiment of both the holidays and the New Year," Times Square Alliance President Tim Tompkins said in the release.

Do you remember what you were doing when you found out John Lennon had been murdered? Leave your comments below...

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