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Memorials worldwide for John Lennon

John and Yoko Ono
Lennon with Yoko: she continues campaign against gun violence  

LIVERPOOL, England -- With Beatles' fans around the world preparing to mark the 20th anniversary of John Lennon's death, a plaque was being unveiled at his childhood home in Liverpool.

The plaque overlooks the porch of the modest house where a young Lennon taught himself the guitar before achieving worldwide fame as a 23-year-old.

Fellow bandmate Sir Paul McCartney said the murdered star would be "tickled" to know the group still had a number one album thirty years after splitting up.

  ALSO
 

The Beatles' greatest hits album, "1," is set to break the million sales barrier just a month after its release.

Sir Paul said he would said he would remember his old friend "with all the love in my heart" and would be in the recording studio on Friday: "I'll be doing what we always enjoyed best together -- making music."

Lennon was shot 20 years ago at the age of 40 by obsessed loner Mark Chapman, a decade after the demise of the Beatles.

Widow condemns "gun violence"

Lennon's widow Yoko Ono has called for the world to reflect on the horrors of "gun violence" on the anniversary of the death.

  MESSAGE BOARD
Lennon anniversary
 

Ono, 67, has been a fervent advocate of gun control since Lennon was shot outside the couple's New York flat and said the anniversary was a time to remember how Lennon had died.

She said almost every country in the world had planned some form of memorial to his life and work.

Members of his family are to return to his childhood home for the unveiling of the English Heritage blue plaque, together with musicians from Liverpool's Merseybeat era.

Lennon moved into his Aunt Mimi's home at 251 Menlove Avenue -- named Mendips -- at the age of five after his parents separated.

Eighty-eight-year-old widower Ernest Burkey, resident of the house for 30 years, is said to dislike publicity but agreed to let English Heritage erect the plaque in Lennon's honour.

A statue of a knotted gun, designed 20 years ago in memory of Lennon's murder, was also being unveiled in Liverpool by Dr Michael Nobel, head of the Nobel family society and chairman of the Non-Violence Foundation.

It will stand in Cavern Walks shopping centre, next door to the original site of the famous Cavern Club in Mathew Street where the Beatles played in their early days together.

The foundation, an international youth-oriented group, has placed 20 identical statues worldwide, including one outside the United Nations building in New York.

Every year since the 1980 shooting fans have gathered in Central Park for a memorial vigil and up to 1,000 are expected to mark the 20th anniversary.

The city's mayor Rudolph Giuliani has angered fans by refusing to lift a 1am curfew on the park. Liverpool's Mayor Edwin Clein had written to ask for a "special concession" for the event.



RELATED STORIES:
Can't buy me love? How about some Beatles stuff?
December 7, 2000
Yoko calls for action on gun violence
December 7, 2000
Review: Brian Epstein biography
December 8, 2000

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