On the night of August 21st 2011, the City of Reykjavik in collaboration with YOKO ONO lit IMAGINE PEACE TOWER on Viðey Island, Reykjavík, Iceland, in tribute to the victims of the 22 July attacks in Oslo and Utøya in Norway.
The Norwegian authorities designated this as an official day of mourning and remembrance for those who lost their lives.
IMAGINE PEACE TOWER was ligt at 9:30pm Reykjavik time (11:30pm Oslo, 10:30pm London, 5:30pm NY, 2:30pm LA, 6:30am Tokyo).
Yoko Ono says:
“I hope the IMAGINE PEACE TOWER will give light to the strong wishes of World Peace from all corners of the planet and give encouragement, inspiration and a sense of solidarity in a world now filled with fear and confusion.
I hope people of the world will join us live to watch the lighting of IMAGINE PEACE TOWER and send their wishes for peace, especially for the people of Norway, by Tweeting (@IPTower) and Facebook messaging at www.IMAGINEPEACETOWER.com.
Let us come together to realise a peaceful world.”
Jon Gnarr, the Mayor of Reykjavik is a committed advocate for peace:
“Empathy is the very core of humanity.
To empathise with others, be it family, friends, compatriots or faceless masses, is the heart of society – what links us all together. We all have a choice, as John and Yoko often remind us. Violence in the name of ideology is not a law of nature.
We will gather together by the IMAGINE PEACE TOWER, in the memory of the tragic death of John Lennon, who was also a victim of senseless evil. The TOWER symbolises a beacon for World Peace, and with its ray of light we emit now a message from Iceland for peace and humanity everywhere while especially commemorating the victims in Norway.“
The event in Viðey started at 8.30pm on Sunday August 21st with musicians Ellen Kristjansdottir and Eythor Gunnarsson performing in Viðeyjarstofa.
Guests wrote their wishes and hung them on Yoko Ono‘s Wish Tree.
A guided tour dedicated to IMAGINE PEACE TOWER was available during the evening.
At 9.15 pm the Mayor of Reykjavík and a representative from the Norwegian embassy in Iceland gave short addresses and conveyed a special message from Yoko Ono.
The light from IMAGINE PEACE TOWER can be seen from great distances in Reykjavík and will also be broadcast live on the website www.IMAGINEPEACETOWER.com where wishes can be sent in live, via Twitter (@IPTower) and Facebook (http://facebook.com/IPTower).
Everyone is encouraged to take part in this moment of sympathy and remembrance of humanity by sharing in the message: IMAGINE PEACE.
About IMAGINE PEACE TOWER
IMAGINE PEACE TOWER is a work of art by Yoko Ono constructed in co-operation with the City of Reykjavík. It is made in remembrance of John Lennon and has the words IMAGINE PEACE inscribed on it in 24 languages.
IMAGINE PEACE TOWER is located on the small island of Viðey just off the shore of the capital and is normally only lit from October 9th through to December 8th in addition to selected other dates during the year [more].
MESSAGE TO THE NORWEGIAN PEOPLE
by YOKO ONO
Trust in the power of wisdom
And believe in the goodness we all have.
Be an oasis for people who are suffering from spiritual thirst.
Have a vision of the society with no social injustices.
When we are given a very challenging situation, it is hard to feel love.
But It’s not any different from other challenges we have had to take care of.
We always did take care of them, and came out trusting in our power of love.
My friends, when things are bad, we know what to do.
“All that we are is the result of what we thought.”
Martin Luther King said:
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that”
So let’s start with having good thoughts.
Imagine a world that has no injustices.
Imagine a world of love.
Right after the Norway tragedy, Norwegian politician Helle Gannestad said:
“If one man can cause so much evil, imagine how much love we can create together.”
Reykjavik city councillor, David Stefansson said:
“Let’s use love to steer through this violence.
Those who love will always outnumber and outweigh those who hate.”
These are words we are not used to hearing from politicians.
Not only that, but we are not used to hearing them from anybody, right after such tragedy.
But we are getting wiser by having gone through so many tragedies in our time.
We understand when truth is spoken.
My husband, John Lennon sang:
“Love is the answer, and you know that for sure.”
Look into people’s eyes.
They are your eyes.
They are beautiful.
They are smiling.
21 August 2011
Photos by Anna Fjóla Gislasdottir