As tens of thousands of March For Our Lives protesters gathered on the western edge of New York City’s Central Park Saturday, Paul McCartney was there to honor the murder of his legendary song-writing partner and fellow Beatle, John Lennon.
Within eyeshot of the scene of his death decades ago and just steps away from the Central Park memorial honoring the iconic singer-songwriter, McCartney wore a shirt with the words “we can end gun violence” written across it.
“One of my best friends was killed in gun violence right around here, so it’s important to me,” McCartney told CNN at the march.
Nearly four decades ago, Lennon died after Mark David Chapman shot him near the gates of The Dakota, his New York City apartment building. “I can’t tell you how much it hurts to lose him,” McCartney said of Lennon’s death in 1980, according to TIME’s coverage. “His death is a bitter, cruel blow—I really loved the guy.”
McCartney was one of many of celebrities, politicians, anti-gun violence advocates and Parkland shooting survivors to attend the March For Our Lives rally in New York. Indeed, that rally was just one of 800 to take place around the world Saturday, with hundreds of thousands of protesters demanding stricter gun control legislation and holding signs reading “Never Again” and “Not One More.”
March For Our Lives was organized by the students who survived the February mass shooting at their high school in Parkland, Fla., where a former classmate opened fire with an AR-15 and killed 17 students and faculty. Still mourning the loss of their friends and grappling with their own survival, students quickly mobilized and created the #NeverAgain movement, demanding gun control from politicians in the days following the shooting and organizing the March for Our Lives protest and school walk-outs earlier this month.