‘I Love Him’: Son Of Vietnam Vet Scatters Dad's Ashes At Coney Island Ahead Of Memorial Day

Kristie Keleshian
May 24, 2020 - 6:36 pm
Vietnam Marine Sgt. Joseph Kevin Lennon

Sean Lennon


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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – As beaches open for Memorial Day weekend, the son of a Vietnam veteran commemorated his father in a personal way in Brooklyn.

Sean Lennon scattered the ashes of his father, Vietnam Marine Sgt. Joseph Kevin Lennon, at the beach in Coney Island on Saturday. 

“I love him. He’s the reason why we’re free today and he’s the reason we remember those who fought,” Lennon said.

After years of keeping his father’s ashes, Lennon said he didn’t plan on scattering them this weekend—it just happened that way.

“I was standing at the beach and I looked up and said, ‘What the hell am I doing here?’ And I looked down at my hand, and I had the urn in my hand, and I said, ‘You’re doing it.’ Do you know how long I waited to do that?”

Lennon said his father was only present in his life for about five years after he came back from serving in Vietnam.

Vietnam Marine Sgt. Joseph Kevin Lennon
Sean Lennon

The veteran suffered from PTSD and was in and out of jail for several years after that, but his son remembered him as a man who always found a solution to any problem he came across.

“This is the type of man who never took ‘no’ for the answer,” Lennon said. “There is no wrong answers, you understand, there’s only solutions we haven't figured out.”

He said his father would have jumped to action to help others if he had lived to see the coronavirus pandemic.

“’We don’t have any masks, but let’s sit down. We’ve got sewing machines, you’ve got a bunch of extra shirts that you were going to donate. Let’s go, get to work,’” Lennon said his father would have said. “That’s my dad.”

Lennon has been doing his part to help with the response to the outbreak through Eyefuel Cares, which is feeding frontline workers and distributing personal protective equipment.​

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