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Sunday, 9 December, 2001, 00:02 GMT
Fans gather for Lennon vigil
John Lennon and Yoko Ono in 1969
John Lennon was shot dead in 1980
Hundreds of fans of former Beatle John Lennon have gathered to mark the 21st anniversary of his death.

They sang songs by candlelight by the Imagine mosaic in Central Park's Strawberry Fields in New York - an area dedicated to the singer songwriter.


From the time I was three or four my earliest memories are of the Beatles

Fan Larry Martin
The fans were there on Saturday to remember Lennon more than two decades after he was gunned down by a fan Mark David Chapman outside his Central Park West home.

This year's vigil was all the more poignant coming just over a week after the death of fellow former Beatle George Harrison from cancer.

Fan Larry Martin said: "It's a weird thing. It's been your whole life, the Beatles."

The professional guitarist added: "I had older brothers, so from the time I was three or four my earliest memories are of the Beatles."

Mr Martin said he had decided to attend this year following Harrison's death.

Childhood memories

Geno Barron, who goes to Strawberry Fields each year for the anniversary brought his daughters, Brooke and Carly along this time.

Lennon fans in Strawberry Fields
Fans were visibly moved by the vigil
"The first song I ever remember hearing is 'I Want to Hold Your Hand," Mr Barron said.

"Since I've was 13 they've been my group."

Al Wunsch went to Strawberry Fields to mourn and remember the special relationship between the Beatles and its audience.

"They had a confidence in themselves and you had a confidence in them."

A vigil was held on Tuesday at Strawberry Fields to remember Harrison.

He died on 29 November after battling against cancer.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Malcolm Brabant in Srawberry Fields
"The crowd fell silent"
John Lennon: 1940-1980


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In DepthIN DEPTH
BBC News Online charts the life and career of the late George HarrisonA life in music
Former Beatle George Harrison remembered
See also:

03 Dec 01 | Music
Harrison set for UK top 40
02 Oct 01 | Music
Live Lennon tribute in New York
03 Oct 01 | Music
Lennon tribute: Picture gallery
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