A Long Island teenager was arrested early Friday morning for destroying a stone memorial commemorating a Navy SEAL and Medal of Honor recipient who was killed in Afghanistan in 2005.
Suffolk County Police arrested a 14-year-old boy at his home in Ronkonkoma, N.Y., for allegedly damaging the memorial dedicated to Lt. Michael P. Murphy. The memorial is the centerpiece of Lt. Michael P. Murphy Memorial Park, which was dedicated on May 7, 2006 – what would have been Murphy’s 30th birthday.
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Lt. Mike Murphy's memorial in New York was vandalized and destroyed yesterday by a coward. The family of an American hero and Medal of Honor recipient deserves our support. Please consider donating to create a new memorial https://t.co/5weG7ci7dh pic.twitter.com/fSwSX35Ix1
— Cameron (@cameronFTL) July 20, 2018
Police charged the boy with criminal mischief. His name has not been released, and he will be arraigned in Family Court in New York.
SCPD today arrested a 14-year-old male for vandalizing the Lt. Michael P. Murphy Memorial in Lake Ronkonkoma. Fourth Squad detectives arrested the juvenile at his Ronkonkoma home and he was charged with Criminal Mischief 2nd Degree. He is scheduled to be arraigned at family court
— Suffolk County PD (@SCPDHq) July 20, 2018
A native of Patchogue, Long Island, Lt. Murphy was killed during Operation Red Wings on June 28, 2005, when his 4-man SEAL team was overwhelmed by 30 Taliban fighters. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions during the battle, becoming the first member of the Navy to receive the medal since the Vietnam War.
Admirably, Lt. Murphy’s family doesn’t wish to see the teen who destroyed the memorial punished. Instead, they hope he learns why his actions were wrong. “Michael was the type of person who would have wanted to take that man under his wing and talk to him, and express and explain to him the significance of his actions,” Daniel Murphy, Lt. Murphy’s father, said.
However, others were not as forgiving. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement, “I am appalled and disgusted by this apparent act of vandalism. The people of this state and this nation owe Lieutenant Murphy a debt of gratitude, and I personally thank him for his service.”
Meanwhile, Marcus Luttrell, the “Lone Survivor” author who served with Lt. Murphy on Operation Red Wings, called the teen a “coward.”
It’s certainly disappointing and appalling that a privileged young American could be so ignorant and unappreciative of everything our men and women in uniform have sacrificed for our everyday freedoms. Hopefully, this young man’s family will discipline him and teach him to appreciate at what price his freedom comes.