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Just Imagine a World With John Lennon

Dec. 8 marked 32 years since the ex-Beatle was killed in New York City.

Just Imagine a World With John Lennon

It's really the Day the Music Died.

Saturday, Dec. 8, marked the 32nd anniversary of when John Lennon was killed in New York City.

If you were too young to experience the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr., then you remember this date.

Like the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, these two dates back-to-back make us pause around the holiday season to recall such tragedies.

What was truly tragic was that Lennon was just returning to the music business after a five-year retirement to raise his young son. He had just delivered -- with wife Yoko Ono -- the album "Double Fantasy," which was climbing the charts based on the catchy first single "(Just Like) Starting Over."

Even if you were too young to enjoy the Beatles when they were together as I was, everyone knows the group and its influence and recognition as the greatest band of all time.

The Rolling Stones can tout that on their 50th anniversary tour these days, but there was no one like John, Paul, George and Ringo.

In fact, 50 years later, the Beatles' influence is so strong that cover bands tour the country playing tributes to the group. (One is appearing at the Sands Casino Event Center at the end of the month.)

So when John Lennon was gunned down outside his home by Mark David Chapman, a Hawaiian who was targeting Lennon, the world came to a stop.

And Lennon's death snuffed out the possibility that the Beatles would get back together.

Besides that, though, the world was robbed of a man who promoted peace.

His solo songs like "Imagine" and "Give Peace a Chance" still radiate throughout the land. Even his popular Christmas song, "Happy X-Mas (The War is Over) being played on radio during this holiday season sends a message that mankind should look within itself to see what good it has done.

Dec. 8, 1980.

The world was filled with possibilities of a new decade and a new president in Ronald Reagan.

John Lennon's return and rebirth on radio also sparked our attention that we were getting this great man's special sensitivity in his music once again. We would listen to his message of peace and love and absorb it.

And we would get to hear his influence for years to come.

His death took that away from us. But just like the Grinch who took away everyone's Christmas presents, he couldn't steal the message.

And neither could Mark David Chapman.

Lennon became greater in spirit and his influence grew stronger in death.

The Beatles are still considered the greatest band ever. And Lennon led that group.

We can only imagine what the world would be like if John Lennon had been alive for the past 32 years.

For us, we can just celebrate his legacy.

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