The damaged granite memorial with Lt. Michael Murphy (inset). Suffolk County Police Department composite photo.
By Ray O’Hanlon
An act of senseless vandalism will not stand.
After a 14-year-old boy smashed the Long Island granite memorial to Navy SEAL and Congressional Medal of Honor winner, Michael Murphy, moves quickly got underway to replace the salute to the fallen hero.
The teenager is to face charges of criminal mischief in family court, meanwhile.
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“Things are coming along. The young man was caught and his mother reached out to us to apologize,” Michael’s father, Daniel Murphy, told the Echo.
“The granite stone will be replaced. New York State has offered to pay for the replacement and everyone has been extremely supportive,” he said.
The memorial is located in Michael P. Murphy Memorial Park in Ronkonkoma.
In a statement, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo confirmed that the state would pay for a replacement stone.
“I am appalled and disgusted by this apparent act of vandalism. The State of New York will fully fund the replacement of the plaque, and I hope this brings comfort to his family and community.
“The people of this state and this nation owe Lieutenant Murphy a debt of gratitude, and I personally thank him for his service.”
Cuomo described the desecration as being “beyond the pale.”
The memorial honors Long Island native Michael Murphy who gave his life for his SEAL comrades in Afghanistan during Operation Red Wings in June, 2005.
Murphy’s heroism is depicted in the book and the movie “Lone Survivor.”
The Irish Echo honored Lt. Murphy and his family by naming him as a posthumous 40-Under-40 honoree.
There is also a plaque in his honor in Kinsale, County Cork which was dedicated by the Irish Veterans Association, the members of which served in a range of uniforms around the world, including U.S.
In recognition of Murphy’s bravery and dedication the United States Navy named an Arleigh Burke Class destroyer after him.
The USS Michael Murphy – the Murph” – is based at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.