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John Lennon tributes flow at Central Park Strawberry Fields on 35th anniversary of Beatle's death

Hundreds of people gathered at the Strawberry Fields memorial to John Lennon in Central Park yesterday to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the musician's death. More than one dozen guitarists strummed various Beatles ballads in unison around the floor mosaic that reads "Imagine," as the surrounding crowd sang along for hours.

Many onlookers said they'd traveled from different parts of the United States, and some from different parts of the world, to attend the memorial. Hilario Garza, 29, and Zulema Perez, 28, traveled from Mexico to be there. "We planned our vacation trip to fall on this week," Garza said.

Gene Cross, a 72-year-old retired actor and musician living in Midtown West, had been to three Beatles concerts. "You couldn't see them, you couldn't hear them -- the girls were screaming so loud it was just ear piercing," Cross said. "When Lennon died, it felt like I lost a brother -- put it this way, I named my son after him," he said.

Lorraine King, 60, from Pennsylvania, has been a Beatles fan since she was a child despite being born with a hearing impairment that has forced her to use a hearing aid. King said that she developed an appreciation for the group by reading the lyrics because she couldn't hear the music. "As I got older, I read the lyrics and became motivated. I would sing them even though I'm off key."

Karl Hamann, 60, traveled from Minnesota to see the memorial. "The '60s shaped who I am in terms of being someone creative," he said. "I've wanted to come for years and experience the moment with other people to honor what (Lennon) stood for, peace.”

Rafael Gana, a 29-year-old painter from Astoria, Queens,
Photo Credit: Jason Shaltiel

Rafael Gana, a 29-year-old painter from Astoria, Queens, made a few illustrations to sell at the gathering of fans in Central Park paying tribute to John Lennon on the 35th anniversary of his death on Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015. "I try to represent some of (Lennon's) ideas in my work," Gana said, "I like his ideology, his music translates to me and the way I live ... the way he saw society and its issues."

Lorraine King, born in Long Island and now
Photo Credit: Jason Shaltiel

Lorraine King, born in Long Island and now living in Pennsylvania, has been a Beatles fan since she was a child despite being born with a hearing impairment that has forced her to use a hearing aid. "I was 8 years old when they came to America ... and I thought they were good looking but I didn't understand the songs. As I got older I read the lyrics and became motivated, I would sing them even though I'm off key."

By noon on Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015, hundreds
Photo Credit: Jason Shaltiel

By noon on Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015, hundreds of people had gathered at the Strawberry Fields memorial to pay tribute to John Lennon on the 35th anniversary of this death.

Karl Hamann, 60, travelled from Minnesota to be
Photo Credit: Jason Shaltiel

Karl Hamann, 60, travelled from Minnesota to be at the Strawberry Fields memorial in Central Park on the 35th anniversary of John Lennon's death on Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015.

An illustration of John Lennon on the back

An illustration of John Lennon on the back of a jacket of a fan paying tribute to the musician at the Strawberry Fields memorial in Central Park on Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015.

Gene Cross, 72, left, with Helen Cohen, 67,
Photo Credit: Jason Shaltiel

Gene Cross, 72, left, with Helen Cohen, 67, at the Strawberry Fields memorial in Central Park on Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015. Cross said he'd seen The Beatles perform live three times and named his son after John Lennon.

Over a dozen people brought instruments to the
Photo Credit: Jason Shaltiel

Over a dozen people brought instruments to the memorial on Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015.

Fans take photographs and hold up flowers at
Photo Credit: Jason Shaltiel

Fans take photographs and hold up flowers at the Strawberry Fields memorial in Central Park on the 35th anniversary of John Lennon's death on Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015.

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