A touching moment occurred in Paris as rally participants sung the John Lennon song “Imagine” in honor of the Charlie Hebdo massacre. As people filed the crowded Paris streets, one resident decided to play the Lennon song to inspire the crowd. The feeling of unity swept the crowd, and the people began to sing in unison at the March for Unity, as YouTuber Lam Hua posted later in the day.
“As no one could advance this day at the Paris’ Marche Républicaine, my neighbor opened her windows and started to play classic tunes, to the delight of the audience. A great moment.”
Were John Lennon alive today, he undoubtedly would have been moved to tears to witness the crowd sing his anthem for peace during the largest rally in the history of Paris. The event saw the union of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who were among the 40 world leaders present, as reported by the New York Post. Truly a historic event that existed long in the imagination of John Lennon when he wrote the song, as the former Beatle told Playboy reporter David Sheff in 1980.
“Imagine’ is saying that [if] you can imagine a world at peace… then it can be true.”
Lennon penned the song “Imagine” not only as a call for tolerance, but because he believed that if everyone could imagine something, it was possible to attain it. In the mind of John Lennon, he was literally bringing about world peace as he wrote the words. As the massive crowd shared his words his vision was attained, if only for little while.
John Lennon himself was no stranger to acts of violence and terror. After the break-up of the Beatles, Lennon became increasingly famous for his anti-war activism. As a peace activist, John attended rallies in protest of the Vietnam War. As a result, John Lennon had become the target of the CIA, who constantly threatened to have him deported. Although the secret organization claimed it was for a 1968 marijuana conviction, Lennon was granted permanent citizenship 1n 1976 after President Nixon resigned.
John Lennon was a furious promoter of the freedom of speech and was himself often at the center of controversy, as when John famously said that the Beatles were “Bigger than Jesus.” However, the persistence of Lennon and his devotion to the cause of peace has endured him to millions worldwide, as the rousing chorus of people at the March for Unity clearly demonstrates.
Despite the terrorists attempt to brutally censor the satire news agency, it is apparent that their actions have achieved the exact opposite response. The Inquisitr reported that as many as 700,000 people showed up to the rally in Paris, with final estimates near three million. As the people sung John Lennon’s inspired words, the feeling of unity captured the world. Surely not even Lennon himself would have been prepared for such a response by a people who themselves refuse to bow down to acts of intimidation.
Sadly, in 1980, John Lennon was gunned down in an act of violence similar to that of the Charlie Hebdo terror attack. His own brutal death surely echoed throughout the crowd as people refused to be daunted by the acts of violence against a satire publication. When John Lennon died, it shook the world, and much like Lennon, Charlie Hebdo is now an icon for freedom.