Yoko Ono: The migrant crisis would have 'upset' John Lennon

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2,000 People Make a Human Peace Sign to Honor John Lennon


John Lennon would have turned 75 on October 9 this year –- and Yoko Ono doesn't want to let his birthday pass without paying a special tribute.

To celebrate Lennon's life, the artist and activist told AOL.com she planned 'very special' events to honor his memory.

Ono invited people from all over the world to converge in New York's Central Park on October 6 to help her send a message to the world about peace.

"To celebrate this year, we'll be forming a human peace symbol in Central Park," Ono told AOL.com.

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Human Peace Sign
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Yoko Ono: The migrant crisis would have 'upset' John Lennon
A crowd gathered in Central Park to form a human peace sign to remember John Lennon and attempt a Guinness world record, raises their hands in a peace sign gesture, Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015, in New York. Thousands of people joined Yoko Ono and tried to set a world record for largest group of human bodies forming a peace sign. The record attempt to honor Ono's husband, John Lennon, didn't succeed. Lennon would have turned 75 on Friday. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
A crowd gather in Central Park to form a human peace sign to remember John Lennon and attempt a Guinness world record, Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015, in New York. Thousands of people joined Yoko Ono and tried to set a world record for largest group of human bodies forming a peace sign. The record attempt to honor Ono's husband, John Lennon, didn't succeed. Lennon would have turned 75 on Friday. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
Yoko Ono dances as she arrives to take the stage and address a crowd in Central Park, gathered to form a human peace sign to remember her husband John Lennon and attempt a Guinness world record, Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015, in New York. Thousands of people joined Yoko Ono and tried to set a world record for largest group of human bodies forming a peace sign. The record attempt to honor Ono's husband, John Lennon, didn't succeed. Lennon would have turned 75 on Friday. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
Attendees gather in Central Park on October 6, 2015 in New York to celebrate John Lennon's 75th birthday. Yoko Ono Lennon and The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus? gather to celebrate the anniversary of Lennon's birth with a Guinness World Records? attempt for the worlds largest human peace sign. AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
A man poses as people gather in Central Park on October 6, 2015 in New York to celebrate John Lennon's 75th birthday. Yoko Ono Lennon and The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus? gather to celebrate the anniversary of Lennon's birth with a Guinness World Records? attempt for the worlds largest human peace sign. AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
Kuo-ling Liao, also known as Angel Star Love from Cincinnati, Ohio, wears costume wings as she waits to join a crowd in Central Park, gathered to form a human peace sign to remember John Lennon and attempt a Guinness world record, Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2015, in New York. Thousands of people joined Yoko Ono and tried to set a world record for largest group of human bodies forming a peace sign. The record attempt to honor Ono's husband, John Lennon, didn't succeed. Lennon would have turned 75 on Friday. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
People gather in Central Park on October 6, 2015 in New York to celebrate John Lennon's 75th birthday. Yoko Ono Lennon and The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus? gather to celebrate the anniversary of Lennon's birth with a Guinness World Records? attempt for the worlds largest human peace sign. AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
Yoko Ono speaks as people gather in Central Park on October 6, 2015 in New York to celebrate John Lennon's 75th birthday. Yoko Ono Lennon and The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus? gather to celebrate the anniversary of Lennon's birth with a Guinness World Records? attempt for the worlds largest human peace sign. AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
People gather in Central Park on October 6, 2015 in New York to celebrate John Lennon's 75th birthday. Yoko Ono Lennon and The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus? gather to celebrate the anniversary of Lennon's birth with a Guinness World Records? attempt for the worlds largest human peace sign. AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
People gather in Central Park on October 6, 2015 in New York to celebrate John Lennon's 75th birthday. Yoko Ono Lennon and The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus? gather to celebrate the anniversary of Lennon's birth with a Guinness World Records? attempt for the worlds largest human peace sign. AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
People gather in Central Park on October 6, 2015 in New York to celebrate John Lennon's 75th birthday. Yoko Ono Lennon and The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus? gather to celebrate the anniversary of Lennon's birth with a Guinness World Records? attempt for the worlds largest human peace sign. AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
People gather in Central Park on October 6, 2015 in New York to celebrate John Lennon's 75th birthday. Yoko Ono Lennon and The John Lennon Educational Tour Bus? gather to celebrate the anniversary of Lennon's birth with a Guinness World Records? attempt for the worlds largest human peace sign. AFP PHOTO / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 06: The crowd joins 'Yoko Ono's World Record Attempt' to create the world's largest human piece sign at Central Park on October 6, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Santiago Felipe/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 06: The crowd joins 'Yoko Ono's World Record Attempt' to create the world's largest human piece sign at Central Park on October 6, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Santiago Felipe/Getty Images)
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READ MORE: Yoko Ono plans record-breaking event to honor John Lennon

Thousands of people came together in the park's East Meadow section in a celebration that included surprise musical performances and family entertainment.



Ono also joined the crowds as they created the peace sign.



"John was a very important activist and what he did is something that really had an effect in the world," she said. "I really think that he still –- his work –- is having an effect in the world and I think it will go on."

See photos of John Lennon and Yoko Ono through the years
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John Lennon and Yoko Ono
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Yoko Ono: The migrant crisis would have 'upset' John Lennon
Carly Simon (pregnant) Yoko Ono James Taylor and John Lennon; circa 1960; New York. (Photo by Art Zelin/Getty Images)
Japanese-born artist and musician Yoko Ono lies in a bathtub with British singer and musician John Lennon (1940 - 1980), late 1960s. (Photo by Susan Wood/Getty Images)
View of the back cover of the record album 'Two Virgins,' by British musician John Lennon (1940 - 1980) and Japanese-born musician and artist Yoko Ono, 1968. The two are both completely naked, save for Lennon's glasses and necklace. (Photo by Blank Archives/Getty Images)
View of a censored version of the front cover of the record album 'Two Virgins,' by British musician John Lennon (1940 - 1980) and Japanese-born musician and artist Yoko Ono, 1968. A plain brown sleeve covers the original art which features the two musicians both completely naked, save for Lennon's glasses and necklace; a pair of cut-outs reveal the album title and the musician's heads. (Photo by Blank Archives/Getty Images)
Beatle John Lennon poses with his son Julian, sitting on his lap, and his companion Yoko Ono at an unknown location in 1968. (AP Photo)
Beatle John Lennon (1940 - 1980) and his girlfriend Yoko Ono outside the Robert Fraser Gallery, where Lennon's work is on show at the gallery in an exhibition entitled 'You Are Here', London, July 1968. Lennon is about to release 365 helium-filled balloons to mark the occasion. (Photo by Keystone Features/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Close-up portrait of Japanese-born artist and musician Yoko Ono and British musican and artist John Lennon (1940 - 1980), December 1968. (Photo by Susan Wood/Getty Images)
Japanese-born artist and musician Yoko Ono and British musican and artist John Lennon (1940 - 1980), December 1968. (Photo by Susan Wood/Getty Images)
Yoko Ono and John Lennon at a press conference in 1968 in Montreux, Switzerland. (Photo by Gunter Zint/K & K Ulf Kruger OHG/Redferns)
Beatle John Lennon walks with his Japanese girlfriend, Yoko Ono, in London, Nov. 28, 1968, after pleading guilty to possessing $24 worth of marijuana, found by a police dog in his London apartment. He was fined $360, and a drug charge against Ms. Ono was dismissed. (AP Photo)
John Lennon, right, is seen with his wife Yoko Ono at a press conference in 1969. (AP Photo)
Beatle John Lennon waves his marriage certificate as his bride, Japanese artist Yoko Ono, stands at his side after their wedding at the Rock of Gibraltar on March 20, 1969. They are about to board a chartered jet to Paris where they will honeymoon. (AP Photo)
UNSPECIFIED - APRIL 01: John Lennon And Yoko Ono In A Bagism Way On April 1969 (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)
Beatle John Lennon and his wife, Yoko Ono, hold a bed-in for peace in room 902, the presidential suite at the Hilton Hotel in Amsterdam on March 25, 1969. The newlyweds, holding solitary tulips, begin a seven-day Love-In to protest the Vietnam War. (AP Photo)
John Lennon (1940 - 1980) and Yoko Ono pose on the steps of the Apple building in London, holding one of the posters that they distributed to the world's major cities as part of a peace campaign protesting against the Vietnam War, December 1969. The poster reads 'War Is Over, If You Want It'. (Photo by Frank Barratt/Keystone/Getty Images)
Beatle John Lennon and his wife, Yoko Ono, left, are shown in June 1969 at an airport at an unknown location. (AP Photo)
John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono display a letter from Lennon to British Prime Minister Harold Wilson at the Beatles' Apple Records headquarters, Nov. 25, 1969. The letter explains his reasons for returning his Order of the British Empire medal, including British support for the U.S.A.'s war in Vietnam and British involvement in Biafra and Nigeria. (AP Photo)
Beatle John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono, show off the handiwork of Danish hairdresser Miss Aase Haukrogh, 27, who sheared off their hair at their farmhouse retreat in North Jutland, Denmark on Jan. 23, 1970. (AP Photo)
John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono share an Eskimo kiss (rubbing noses) during an interview in London, Feb. 9, 1970. Both had their hair shorn in Denmark to be auctioned off in London. The proceeds will go to the Black Power organization in Britain. (AP Photo/Bob Dear)
John Lennon and his Japanese born wife, Yoko Ono, both now visiting Japan, had a sightseeing tour in the Japanese ancient capital of Kyoto, western Japan on January 23, 1971. Lennon and Yoko pose in front of Enryakuji temple in Kyoto. (AP Photo)
John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono are seen at the Cannes Film Festival, May 18, 1971. Lennon carries Ono's art book "Grapefruit" in his jacket. (AP Photo/Michel Lipchitz)
John Lennon (1940 - 1980) and Yoko Ono at home in Ascot, England, circa 1971. (Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images)
John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono raise their fists as they join a protest, Feb. 5, 1972, by about 500 persons in front of British Overseas Airways Corp. offices in New York on Fifth Avenue. The demonstrators called for the withdrawal of British troops from Northern Ireland. (AP Photo/Ron Frehm)
Former Beatle John Lennon, left, and his wife Yoko Ono, leave the Immigration and Naturalization Service, at 20 West Broadway, March 16, 1972, New York. His case was postponed and comes up in April (AP Photo/Anthony Camerano)
Former Beatle John Lennon, giving the peace sign, and his wife, Yoko Ono, arrive for a hearing on their deportation case at U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service office in lower Manhattan, May 12, 1972. (AP Photo)
John Lennon and his wife Yoko Ono speak at a press conference, March 2, 1973, in New York. (AP Photo)
Former Beatle John Lennon and his wife, Yoko Ono, arrive at New York's Americana Hotel to attend a dinner preceding the 17th annual Grammy Awards in New York City, March 1, 1975. Lennon is scheduled to perform during the telecast awards ceremony. (AP Photo)
John Lennon and wife Yoko Ono are shown in 1977. (AP Photo)
John Lennon and his wife, Yoko Ono, left, are shown with heavyweight boxer Muhammad Ali, center, at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 20, 1977. They are at the gala honoring President-elect Jimmy Carter on the eve of his inauguration. (AP Photo)
John Lennon and his wife, Yoko Ono, arrive at The Hit Factory, a recording studio in New York City on Aug. 22, 1980. (AP Photo/Steve Sands)
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For her, New York was the ideal city to hold the event.

"We remember and I remember and you remember too -- John was fanatic about New York City. John was in love with New York," Ono said. "To do it in New York is very important. It's special."



But Ono doesn't doubt that Lennon's passion for activism would have grown had he been alive today. She said the thinks her late husband "would have been very, very, very upset" by the growing migrant crisis.

"Think about it, John was an immigrant. John immigrated to the United States ... and he was very proud of it," she said. "He was very proud of his green card and he did a lot of things for this country."

Ono said the global issue, which traverses both "human rights and human life," needs to be dealt with.

But she believes if Lennon were alive today, he'd be pleasantly surprised by the number of people who are rallying behind global causes to bring about change.



"He probably is looking around and thinking, 'Oh, it's great there are so many activists now,'" she said.

To also honor Lennon's memory, the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus is doing a residency tour of New York City and the five boroughs. The bus is a non-profit, state-of the art recording facility that provides hands-on music experiences for students of all ages.

Following the celebrations in New York, Ono heads to Iceland to light the Imagine Peace tower on October 9, Lennon's birthday. The tower will stay lit until December 31.

See images of the tower:
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Iceland's Imagine Peace Tower for John Lennon
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Yoko Ono: The migrant crisis would have 'upset' John Lennon
Yoko Ono's Imagine Peace Tower with Reykjavik on the horizon
The annual lighting of IMAGINE PEACE TOWER. On the island of Viðey. Yoko Ono invites people all over the world to join her in spirit when she lights IMAGINE PEACE TOWER in honour of all the activists of the world; past, present and future. She asks everyone to join together and let the power of light become a collective expression of the desire for peace and harmony on the planet. (AP Photo/Brynjar Gauti)
Yoko Ono, widow of the late John Lennon, invites people from all over the world to join her in spirit when she lights the Imagine Peace Tower on the island of Viðey, near Reykjavik, Iceland, Tuesday, Oct. 9 2012, in honour of all the activists of the world: past, present and future. The Imagine Peace Tower is a beacon of world peace and is the work of the legendary artist, musician and peace advocate Yoko Ono who dedicated it to the memory of her late husband John Lennon. (AP Photo / Brynjar Gauti)
The annual lighting of IMAGINE PEACE TOWER. On the island of Viðey. Yoko Ono invites people all over the world to join her in spirit when she lights IMAGINE PEACE TOWER in honour of all the activists of the world; past, present and future. She asks everyone to join together and let the power of light become a collective expression of the desire for peace and harmony on the planet. AP Photo/Brynjar Gauti)
The annual lighting of IMAGINE PEACE TOWER. On the island of Viðey. Yoko Ono invites people all over the world to join her in spirit when she lights IMAGINE PEACE TOWER in honour of all the activists of the world; past, present and future. She asks everyone to join together and let the power of light become a collective expression of the desire for peace and harmony on the planet. AP Photo/Brynjar Gauti)
People gather to watch the lighting of the Imagine Peace Tower in remembrance of former Beatle John Lennon, on what would have been his 70th birthday, in Reykjavik, Iceland, Saturday, Oct. 9, 2010. (AP Photo/Brynjar Gunnarsson)
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Ono said she's happy so many people want to honor the life of Lennon – even if there are a few misconceptions that still remain.

"There have been so many things that have been said about John –- bad and good," she said. "If I kept fighting that each time, I'd be very tired. I just ignore them and be thankful that there are so many people who still understand John and love John for what he was."

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