By Carrie Ann Knauer
December 09, 2007
For a generation that saw the assassinations of John F. Kennedy,
Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr., the death of John Lennon
was another blow that just came 12 years later.
"It brought back some of the same feelings," said Manchester resident
Terry Greenberg, a Lennon fan who can still remember her shock and
disbelief when she heard the Dec. 9, 1980, announcement on the radio
that Lennon had been shot and killed.
Greenberg was among a dozen people who stood in front of the
Westminster branch of the Carroll County Public Library Saturday
night for the Second Annual John Lennon Memorial Candlelight Peace
Vigil. They held signs and candles, wore Lennon T-shirts and swayed
to the sound of "Give Peace a Chance" and other Lennon tunes being
played from a second-story window at Coffey Music across the street.
"All we have now are his songs and the memories," Greenberg said. "I
think we shouldn't forget people like that."
The memorial vigil started last year after Amy Andrews, 20, suggested
it to Margaret Jones of the Women in Black of Westminster, a
grass-roots organization dedicated to peace and nonviolence. Jones
agreed that the former Beatles member's message of peace was
inspirational and told Andrews to run with it.
"John Lennon is my hero," Andrews said. "He's a hippy, and he's so
witty, and he stood for peace, and he stood for everything I stand for."
Andrews said she got the idea for a local memorial vigil after
visiting Strawberry Fields in New York City's Central Park, a
2.5-acre teardrop-shaped area dedicated to Lennon, in 2005. She's
hoping to go back next year and to visit his birthplace in Liverpool,
England, some time in the future.
Jones, who has been participating in the bimonthly Women in Black
demonstrations for the past four years, is also a Lennon fan.
"He really was truly, truly a peacenik. He just really thought peace
was the way," Jones said. "We'd really like to channel his spirit."
Incorporating Lennon into the group's normal vigil helped bring some
new faces out, Jones said. Lennon appealed to a wide spectrum of
people, whether for his music or his message.
"One of the best songs ever written is 'Imagine,'" Jones said. "It
talks about, to me, dropping all of the barriers, all the artificial
senses people put around themselves to keep them from connecting."
One out of every few cars would honk while driving past the group on
East Main Street, and a few youths leaving Coffey Music flashed the
peace sign back to the vigil members.
Greenberg said that while she doesn't attend many peace vigils, she
always feels better after she does particularly after the Lennon memorials.
"I think the world needs people like John Lennon," she said. "He had
a message, and I think it got cut short."
Reach staff writer Carrie Ann Knauer at 410-857-7874 or