John Lennon at 71: Yoko Ono Live-Streams Imagine Peace Tower Ceremony Today

on October 09 2011 4:37 PM
  • Imagine Peace Tower
    The Imagine Peace Tower in October, 2010, in Reykjavik, Iceland. Imagine Peace Tower Web site
  • Imagine Peace Tower Base
    One of the mesmerizing features of the Tower is that the strength, brilliance, and intensity of its light changes with the weather and atmospheric conditions in Iceland, sometimes beaming rainbow refractions in rain or snowfall, at other times casting rays through a passing cloud. Imagine Peace Tower Web site
  • Imagine Peace Tower's Lighting
    In addition to its run through early December, the Tower is also lit through the Winter Solstice (December 21-28), through New Year's Eve, and in the first week of spring (May 21-28). Imagine Peace Tower Web site
  • Yoko Ono's Birthday
    The tower was also lit for Yoko Ono's birthday, Feb, 18, 2010. Here, a group of workers and Ono supporters gather around the light. Creative Commons
  • Imagine Peace Inscriptions
    The words "Imagine Peace" are inscribed on the Well, which serves as the Tower's base, in 24 different languages. Imagine Peace Tower Web site
  • Imagine Art
    As well as a memorial, Ono wanted the Tower to be an interactive art piece. She chose Iceland in part because of the ways in which the light cast by the beam would be refracted and transformed by atmospheric change Imagine Peace Web site
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John Lennon would have turned 71 today, and Yoko Ono, his widow, commemorated his birthday and legacy by live-streaming the lighting of the Imagine Peace Tower at 4 p.m. EST in Iceland.

The Imagine Peace Tower takes 15 searchlights and condenses their rays, using mirrors that act as prisms, to create a single beam of light that extends 4,000 meters into the air. The prisms reflect the column vertically into the sky from a 10-meter-wide wishing well inscribed with the words Imagine Peace in 24 different languages on its base. Buried underneath the light tower are more than 500,000 written wishes that Ono gathered over the years and collected in another project, called Wish Trees.

The Tower is located in Vioey Islan, Kollafjorour Bay, in Reykjavik, Iceland. Ono began construction on the site in early 2006 and officially switched the tower on in 2007. The opening ceremony was broadcast internationally to numerous television stations. Ono, her son, Sean Lennon, and Ringo Starr, as well as George Harrison's widow, Olivia Harrison, and Olivia's son, Dhani Harrison, attended the ceremony. Former bandmate and songwriting partner Paul McCartney was invited but could not attend.

The tower is lit every year from Oct. 9, John Lennon's birthday, to Dec. 8, the anniversary of his death. The ceremony began at 8 p.m. in Iceland (4pm EST).

In a statement released for this year's ceremony, Ono asked fans of the former Beatles star to tweet wishes to the Imagine Peace Tower Twitter page (@IPTower), or to send wishes by mail or e-mail, or through Facebook. I hope the Imagine Peace Tower will give light to the strong wishes of World Peace from all corners of the planet, she said, and give encouragement, inspiration and a sense of solidarity in a world now filled with fear and confusion.

Let us come together to realize a peaceful world. Love is our energy. Wisdom is our power. It's time to shed light to all corners of the world. Enjoy the trip we make together.

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