The Imagine Peace Tower (Icelandic: Friðarsúlan, meaning “the peace column”) is a memorial to John Lennon from his widow, Yoko Ono, located on Viðey Island in Kollafjörður Bay near Reykjavík, Iceland. It consists of a tall tower of light, projected from a white stone monument that has the words “Imagine Peace” carved into it in 24 languages. These words, and the name of the tower, are a reference to Lennon’s campaign for peace, and his song “Imagine”.
The Tower consists of 15 searchlights with prisms that act as mirrors, reflecting the column of light vertically into the sky from a 10-metre wide wishing well. It often reaches cloudbase and indeed can be seen penetrating the cloud cover. On a clear night it appears to reach an altitude of at least 4000 m. The power for the lights is provided by Iceland’s unique geo-thermal energy grid. It uses approximately 75 kW of power.
Buried underneath the light tower are over 1 million written wishes that Ono gathered over the years in another project, called Wish Trees. Ono plans to have the tower lit every year from 9 October, Lennon’s birthday, through 8 December, the date he was shot. Iceland was selected for the project because of its beauty and its eco-friendly use of geothermal energy.
Construction of the tower started on 9 October 2006 when Ono dedicated the location, and it was officially unveiled on the same date in 2007. The ceremony was broadcast internationally to numerous television networks. In attendance with Ono were son Sean Lennon, bandmate Ringo Starr, and Olivia Harrison, widow of George Harrison, and Olivia’s son Dhani Harrison. Paul McCartney was invited, but could not attend due to a court case. Yoko Ono said on the day of the inauguration that the tower was the best thing that she and John had ever done.