Navy destroyer named after Afghanistan war hero

NEW YORK — In a ceremony that was more joyful than solemn, the U.S. Navy on Saturday commissioned the USS Michael Murphy, a sleek new warship named for a Navy SEAL who died in Afghanistan at age 29.

Cannons boomed, dignitaries spoke of heroism, and nearly 300 sailors charged up a ramp while a band played “Anchors Aweigh” as the guided-missile destroyer sprang to life in a ceremony in New York Harbor.

“You are now our family, our team,” the ship’s commander, Tom Shultz, told Murphy’s parents, before leading hundreds of visitors in a SEAL battle cry.

“Hooyah, Michael Murphy!” Shultz said, pointing skyward.

Murphy, a Navy lieutenant who grew up in Patchogue, N.Y., was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during a 2005 ambush. Military officials said that after his four-man team was surrounded, Murphy risked exposure to enemy fire so he could radio a base for help.

The helicopter that rushed to the rescue was shot down, killing 16 sailors and soldiers. Murphy died on the battlefield. Only one man in his squad survived.

The 510-foot ship bearing his name was draped in red, white and blue banners and festooned with flags for Saturday’s ceremony on a pier on Manhattan’s west side.

Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said the ship would guarantee that Murphy’s story would be retold. U.S. Rep. Peter King heralded the young sailor for “unbridled courage.” U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer recounted stories of how Murphy, since he was a child, had empathy for others.

The $1.1 billion warship, built at the Bath Iron Works in Maine, is to be based in Hawaii.

More in Local News

Agencies launch coordinated response to an opioid ‘emergency’

Health workers, law enforcement agencies and emergency managers are responding as they might to a disaster.

Jordan Evers distributes coffee Sunday afternoon during the annual community meal at Carl Gipson Senior Center in Everett on November 19, 2017. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Firefighters serve Thanksgiving meals at Carl Gipson center

The next two feasts at the senior center in Everett will be Thanksgiving Day and Dec. 3.

Hiker rescued on Boulder River trail after 15-foot fall

She was reported to have possible leg and rib fractures.

Alleged philanderer attacked with hammer near Everett

His girlfriend had accused him of cheating and allegedly called on another man to confront him.

Snohomish County Council passes a no-new-taxes budget

The spending plan still funds the hiring of five new sheriff’s deputies and a code enforcement officer.

Darrington School Board race might come down to a coin flip

With a one-vote difference, a single ballot in Skagit County remains to be counted.

Search ends for 3 US sailors missing in Navy aircraft crash

Eight people were rescued quickly and are in good condition.

A seat at the table for everyone

Sultan’s community dinner ensures no one has to dine alone on Thanksgiving

Most Read