Thirty years after John Lennon's death, fans and curious bystanders made their way to Central Park's Strawberry Fields on Wednesday (December 8) to pay their respects to the late Beatle.
Despite the cold weather, hundreds were gathered at any given moment to leave gifts, sing his songs and remember the music icon whose message of peace and unity still burns strong today.
"I think it's very spiritual," Flora Bromley said. "Everybody is just singing the songs. It's just a good feeling coming here."
"You can see what Lennon did with all the people," Carlos Rivera noticed. "You feel at home."
Some people just happened to discover the event by chance. Tara Heilingoetter was out to take pictures of the park when she noticed the commotion coming from Strawberry Fields. "I walked over and enjoyed the music and the singing and just the reflection on his life," Tara said. "I thought it was really beautiful."
Emily Vannorstrand said she has been a Beatles fan for her whole life, being raised by parents who were fans. "He had one common message: to spread love through music," Emily said. "And this is what I saw today."
The atmosphere, though recognizing a tragic event, brought a sense of hope and peace among the attendants. "Everybody is just in a good mood today!" observed second-generation Lennon fan Connie Solos.
Dressed up as a member of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Raymond Brisson ventured all the way from Rhode Island to celebrate Lennon's legacy. "There will always be a Strawberry Fields in everybody's heart," he declared. "John Lennon will always be there, no matter where we are or where we go."
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