12/08/2005 at 08:00 AM EST
Thursday marks the 25th anniversary of John Lennon's death, a tragic occasion that will be marked with tributes worldwide – especially in his hometown of Liverpool, England, and his adopted city of New York.
In Liverpool, where Lennon was born and raised, fans and officials were due to create a shrine beneath a statue of the legendary Beatle, to be followed by a memorial service that will recognize his enormous influence on music, reports Reuters.
The focus will then shift to Manhattan, where Mark David Chapman gunned down Lennon, who had just celebrated his 40th birthday, outside the musician's West Side apartment building. By dawn, fans were already gathering near the spot in an area of Central Park called Strawberry Fields – named for one of the Beatles' songs.
In Los Angeles, there is to be a gathering of Lennon fans scheduled for 6 p.m. in front of Capitol Records in Hollywood
Absent from Thursday's tributes will be Lennon's widow, Yoko Ono. Ono's spokesman Elliot Mintz said he had received more than 500 requests for interviews pinned to the anniversary, but "It's just too painful for her to discuss."
Meanwhile, Lennon's first wife, Cynthia, told Reuters earlier this year that she and her and John's son Julian were "airbrushed" from the Beatles' story, and that Ono made it clear she did not want her in New York after Lennon's death.
In a statement on his Web site, Julian added: "I have always had very mixed feelings about Dad. He was the father I loved who let me down in so many ways ... it's painful to think that his early death robbed me of the chance for us to know each other better."