Michael Murphy died for the values that America holds dear. After a teen-aged boy was arrested for vandalizing a memorial to the Navy SEAL who was killed in Afghanistan, his parents showed that those values live on.
The memorial to Murphy was vandalized last Thursday. A 14-year-old Long Island boy was arrested Friday and charged with criminal mischief for the act.
When the parents of the fallen SEAL were asked about the arrest, they said their son would know what to do.
“Michael was the type of person who would have wanted to take that man under his wing and talk to him,” his father Daniel Murphy said, WABC reported.
The memorial was a circular piece of granite engraved with Murphy’s likeness and excerpts of his Medal of Honor citation, The Daily Caller reported.
— Eyewitness News (@ABC7NY) July 21, 2018
“On June 28, 2005, during Operation Redwing, Lt. Michael P. Murphy made the ultimate sacrifice for his country and our freedom,” the inscription read.
Murphy’s mother, Maureen Murphy, said she wants the teen to read “Lone Survivor,” a book by former SEAL Marcus Luttrell.
“The boy who did this, he’s a child,” she said. “He did something foolish. And everybody has done something foolish when they’re younger.”
Both parents made no secret of their grief at the teen’s vandalism.
“… if you look at one of the places where he struck Michael was right at the heart, which is like striking at the heart of America,” Daniel Murphy said.
“I lost Mike and then when I saw that I felt like I lost him again because, you know, I was proud to come down and see this,” Maureen Murphy said
Murphy was 29 when he was killed in 2005. The stone was put in place in 2006, and has served as a community memorial for fallen heroes.
“Michael has become more a symbol — he’s our son, but he’s more a symbol — of our military men and women, and our first responders — fire, police — that are out there every day protecting us,” his father, Daniel Murphy, said, according to WLNY.
Luttrell said that that teen who vandalized the memorial needs to know he can come back from making a mistake, Fox News reported.
“Take that kid, send him out here to me. I’ll put him to work and show him what kind of man Mike was and the legacy that he left behind,” he said on “Fox & Friends.”
“We all make mistakes and we push past them. That’s how we become the men that we’re bound and destined to be,” Luttrell said.
Although New York State, along with several local governments, offered to pay for putting the memorial back together, the Daily News, in an editorial, offered another idea about how the damage should be repaired.
“The young man who shattered the old one should be required to piece it back together anyway, painstakingly. Anyone who so flippantly insults sacrifice must cure themselves of their disgraceful disrespect,” it wrote.