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John Lennon would have lots to say today

Singer and songwriter John Lennon (1940 - 1980)

Singer and songwriter John Lennon (1940 - 1980) and his wife Yoko Ono arrive at London Airport from New York on July 14th, 1971. Credit: Getty Images/R. Brigden

Sunday marks 39 years since the shooting death of John Lennon. It’s hard to believe that this once-young Beatle would be 79 today if he had lived.

Lennon was one of the most influential figures of the 20th century. The world loved his music and melodies, but his lyrics that speak of love and peace touch us all. No one can forget his simple words, “Give peace a chance.”

I was at a Long Island bar watching “Monday Night Football” with friends on Dec. 8, 1980, when commentator Howard Cosell announced that Lennon had been shot outside his Manhattan apartment building. The bar went almost silent. Everyone left. It was if a family member had been shot.

I always wonder whether Lennon ever knew how many people loved him. Could you imagine if he had lived to see the world in 2019, with all of its greed and war, hate and division? I believe he would have a lot to say, and that he would try to make things better.

Lennon had a lot more music to write and a lot more love to give to his wife, Yoko, and his sons. The world was cheated by his early death. John Lennon, we miss you so much!

Alfred Anuszewski,

  Shoreham

Sacred music can be heard in public schools

Public schools are inviting families to enjoy concerts, plays and celebrations during the holiday season. Many will include sacred and religious music; however, some schools claim incorrectly that such music violates the separation of church and state.

Federal courts have affirmed that concerts can include religious songs as long as they are not presented as a religious exercise. Courts have said that such music reflects the history and culture of Christmas and is a basic part of a complete music curriculum.

The U.S. Department of Education, during the presidency of Bill Clinton, issued guidelines to protect religious expression in public schools. They explained situations when prayer, religious clubs and students speaking and writing about faith and religious practices in class are allowed.

Barbara Samuells,

  Dix Hills

Editor’s note: The writer is president of Catholics for Freedom of Religion, an educational organization.

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