PATCHOGUE, N.Y. (NNS) -- Lt. Michael P. Murphy was remembered and honored in his hometown of Patchogue on May 7, his birthday, with the unveiling of a Purple Heart monument and the Medal of Honor for display in the post office named for him.
U.S. Rep. Timothy Bishop and Patchogue Mayor Paul V. Pontieri, Jr. expressed what an honor it was to remember the hometown hero, while Rear Adm. Joseph D. Kernan, Commander, Naval Special Warfare Command, unveiled a framed Medal of Honor with the assistance of Daniel and Maureen Murphy, the parents of Michael.
"I think it is entirely appropriate that in front of the post office that bears his name we unveil a new monument that will serve as a permanent reminder of Michael's life, of his heroism, of his commitment to his fellow troops and of his love of Patchogue," said Bishop.
Bishop credited Murphy's family and community for his unfailing character. He thanked the audience and stressed that the community's support and appreciation of Murphy's service to his country will be recognized for generations to come.
"Let every young man or young women that walk these streets in the generation to come know that a hero walked these streets," said Bishop. "Let them know that a hero was nurtured in this community and this community will never forget his service and sacrifice and his commitment to this country."
Patchogue citizens were assured by Kernan that they have inherited the special operations community with the recognition of Murphy and a monument that will remain in their town. He noted that there were a number of public servants in the audience including firefighters, court officers, police officers and postal workers. Kernan thanked the veterans as well and noted that they seem to make it to every ceremony held across the nation.
"Mike is what every American can be proud of," said Kernan. "The tribute to Mike today is arguably I would say probably the most important and most endearing. This is Mike's home. This is where generations to follow can have a personal and quiet relationship with one of their citizens, one that can inspire and guide them to levels of selflessness, to levels of patriotism that we rarely see in our county today."
Pontieri reminded the citizens that many of them will never know what Murphy went through that brought them together for the unveiling ceremony.
"It is very fitting that the dedication is at a U.S. Post Office," said Pontieri. "A post office is more than a building, more than a service, it is the single institution that we have that allows us to connect our lives with others. Michael Murphy son of Maureen and Dan, brother of John will forever be that beacon to remind us that trust, loyalty and family is what connects communities together."
In addition to the Medal of Honor and Purple Heart Monument, a portrait of Murphy was donated to the post office by artist Jerry Slater and New York Fire Department Engine Company 53, Ladder Company 43 presented a plaque recognizing the special relationship established between Murphy and his Seal community with Murphy's childhood friends.
Murphy was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor in October for his heroic actions during Operation Red Wing, in Afghanistan on June 28, 2005. During an afternoon ceremony May 7 in the nearby community of Brookhaven Secretary of the Navy, Donald C. Winter announced the newest Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer will be USS Michael Murphy, designated as DDG 112.
For more news from the Navy Office of Information, East, visit www.navy.mil/local/navinfoeast/.