Sgt. John L. Behan Memorial Park

The Behan Family

by Sue Giustino

November 11, 2023 was a perfect fall day for the large group of family, friends, and neighbors who gathered to honor the legacy of Sgt. John L. Behan: sunny and cool, with just a slight breeze off the water. The dedication of the new Sgt. John L. Behan Memorial Park took place on Veteran’s Day which also happens to be the anniversary of his birth- 11/11/1944. The small plot of land, which is located at the intersection of Westlake Drive and Flamingo Avenue, was transformed into a lovely entranceway to the Harbor. The establishment of this memorial was the result of deep dedication and the diligent effort of family and community, spearheaded by John’s wife, Marilyn, and town councilman David Lys.

The Friends of Erin came out.

After a prayer and blessing by Rev. Bill Hoffmann of the Montauk Community Church and Fr. Liam McDonald of St. Therese, outgoing supervisor Peter Van Scoyoc offered a few words of remembrance.  Marilyn Behan then spoke of her appreciation for all of the support received in making this dream a reality. Surrounded by her children, their spouses, and her grandchildren (Jack, Harry, Teddy, William, and Samantha) she spoke elegantly of the service and devotion John gave to his country, state, and the community of Montauk. One of John’s long- time Marine Corp friends, John Dheering, also spoke of his comradery with and respect of John Behan. As the ceremony came to an end, two of Marilyn’s grandchildren raised the flag to half-mast on the newly installed flagpole at the site.

This day was a heartfelt way to honor a dedicated public servant, father, grandfather, and husband. After the dedication, all the attendees were invited to Shagwongs with the family to share memories over lunch.

Bricks were sold, personalized, and installed in the path of the park, and they are still available for purchase. If you are interested, please contact Marilyn at