An unnamed 14-year-old was arrested on Friday at approximately 3:00 a.m. after allegedly destroying Lt. Michael P. Murphy’s memorial at his namesake park in Lake Ronkonkoma.
Lieutenant Murphy was a native of Patchogue, Long Island. He served as a Navy SEAL until he was killed on June 28, 2005, in a battle between his 4-man team and over 30 Afgani fighters. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor—the first member of the Navy to receive it since the Vietnam War.
Murphy has had a destroyer named after him, as well as the aforementioned Lake Ronkonkoma-area park. In that park was placed a circular memorial stone remembering his “ultimate sacrifice for his country and our freedom.” It was this stone that the wayward teenager allegedly shattered.
Famed Lone Survivor author Marcus Lutrell served with Murphy and called the youth a “coward” for his alleged act of vandalism. Meanwhile, thousands have offered to donate money to have the memorial restored. Fortunately, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says those efforts will be unnecessary, as the state will pay for its replacement.
“The people of this state and this nation owe Lt. Murphy a debt of gratitude, and I personally thank him for his service,” he said.