Few people bothered to brave the gray rain that fell on Coney Island Saturday — but for one patriot, the Memorial Day weekend began there at the water’s silvery edge, as he tearfully scattered the ashes of his Vietnam veteran dad.
“I waited for many years to do this,” the son, an ironworker from Queens, told The Post after the touching tribute.
Earlier Saturday, he stood on the beach holding a large American flag and a small metal box he said contained the remains of former Marine Sgt. Joseph Kevin Lennon.
The son, Sean Lennon, 50, of Sheepshead Bay, has photos of his father — showing him standing on duty in his military police uniform, or in closeup in a beige USMC Garrison cap — but few memories to share.
His father, he said, had suffered severe mental illness after the war.
“He lost his mind in Vietnam, when I was a baby,” Lennon said. “He wasn’t a big family guy. I knew him for about five years of my life.”
The best of these few memories are set in Coney Island.
“He would bring me here because it was free,” Lennon said.
“He never had any money. He would make me a sandwich, and I would feed it to the birds. We would go in the water.”
His father, who he described as a military police vet, was a man of action, of hand-to-hand combat, and would not have appreciated today’s battle against an invisible virus.
“He wouldn’t stand for this s–t. The fear. Just people feeling so helpless,” Lennon told The Post.
“My dad’s not a guy to ever look at fear — he faces fear and says, ‘You better fear me, fear.’ That’s the kind of guy that I remember.”