A Video Tribute to Michael Murphy

October 15, 2012 at 3:39 pm 3 comments

Someone posted a terrific link to the Alumni Association’s Facebook page last night (thank you, Nick Skias, whoever you are), and I wanted to pass it along to you.

It’s a video about the commissioning on Oct. 6 of the USS Michael Murphy, the Navy’s newest destroyer. The ship is named for Michael Murphy ’98, a Navy SEAL who was killed in Afghanistan in 2005 and who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions in that fatal battle.

The video covers much more than the commissioning ceremony in New York harbor. It captures a bit of who Michael Murphy was and shows you his parents’ grief and their obvious pride. It also takes you to Calverton National Cemetery on Long Island, where, the day before the commissioning ceremony, the crew members of the Michael Murphy paid a visit to the grave of the man whose name is on their ship.

I love the fact that the ship will be known informally by Murphy’s own nickname: Crew members say they’ll tell others that they’re serving on “The Murph.” And I about lost it when, in the video, Murphy’s mom gestures toward his headstone and tells the crew in her unmistakeable Long Island accent: “Thank you for not forgettin’ my Mike.”

You can read more from the photographer/videographer about the making of the video here. And Murphy’s hometown newspaper (he grew up in Patchogue, N.Y.) has some cool photos of the ship’s interior here.

Tina Hay, editor

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Carol P  |  October 15, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    That was incredibly moving! Thanks for sharing it with us. I visited the memorial now on campus that is dedicated to Lt. Murphy and other Penn State veterans a few weeks ago. I’m glad to see that the class of 2011 made this their class gift to the university.

  • 3. Jeff Roby  |  November 1, 2012 at 10:50 pm


    Thanks for this article and for posting the video. It is awesome.

    In the early 1970’s I had the privilege of serving on a ship during its final construction and the commissioning. It’s quite an experience seeing a ship “come to life”. Being part of one named after a true hero, so close to our hearts at Penn State, must be really special. And having Mike’s parents there to meet and get involved with the new crew sure adds an emotional touch.

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