Remembering John Lennon: All They Were Saying in Munich Was Give Peace a Chance


lennon and ono
John Lennon and Yoko Ono
Today in Japan, it is December 9, but in the US, it is still December 8, the day John Lennon was murdered, the day the music died.

On the closing day of the Munich Olympics in 1972, the torch was extinguished, the lingering waves of joy of Olympic competition and camaraderie merging with countervailing waves of sadness. Eleven Israeli athletes had been killed by the hand of terrorists. According to the book, Secret Olympian: The Inside Story of the Olympic Experience, athletes left the closing ceremony and gathered in the Olympic Village. And as the athletes struggled with their mixed and roiling emotions, a song by John Lennon unified them all.

Lennon Memorial Central Park_14Dec80 #1
At the John Lennon memorial event at Central Park on December 14, 1980_photo taken by Roy Tomizawa
Following the closing ceremony, the athletes returned to the Village and converged on the discotheque. John Lennon’s ‘Give Peace a Chance’ was played several times with its poignant relevance. Fencer Susie Murphy’s overriding memory of Munich was a touchingly united scene with athletes of all nations singing along to Lennon in one unified voice, arms round each other’s shoulders, in defiance of the atrocity.