Sailor commits grandfather's ashes to the sea


Navy photo

Though the entire family could not attend Navy veteran Jerome Seward’s burial-at-sea, at least one person got to be there.

Aviation Ordnanceman 3rd Class Christopher Sergent-Seward, a sailor aboard amphibious assault ship Iwo Jima, participated in the ceremony for his grandfather on Nov. 9 in the Mediterranean Sea.

“It made me feel really proud and honored,” Sergent-Seward said. “I was glad to be able to do this for him because he had always said he wanted to be buried at sea. My family is very happy that I was the one who committed his remains to the sea.”

Families of those buried at sea receive a signed letter from the ship’s commanding officer, rifle bullet casings used during the 21-gun salute, a map indicating where the ceremony took place and a CD with photos of the ceremony, the Navy release said.

“This is a very special and important moment for the families, and since they are not able to be present, we try to make sure they feel as much a part of it as possible,” Religious Programs Specialist 1st Class Diana R. Silver said. “Performing burials-at-sea for the family members of veterans who served our country is truly an honor.”


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