Father of Medal of Honor recipient reacts to Bin Laden’s death

05/05/2011 12:58 PM |

NAVY COURTESY PHOTO | Daniel Murphy, father of Navy SEAL Lt. Michael Murphy, stands as President George W. Bush delivers his remarks during the Medal of Honor ceremony at the White House in October 2007.

As Daniel Murphy learned with the rest of the world that Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden had been killed, he immediately knew Navy SEALs had completed the mission.

Mr. Murphy, of Wading River, is no stranger to the special operations force.

His son, Michael, was killed in 2005 while leading a four-man group of Navy SEALS in a mission to track a Taliban leader in the mountains of Afghanistan just west of the Pakistani border.

Now, Mr. Murphy applauds that same team of SEALs for bringing to justice the man most wanted for leading acts of global terror.

“They killed a very bad man,” said Mr. Murphy. “A man who’s caused a lot of suffering not just to my family personally with the loss of Michael, but to a lot of families who have lost a loved one.”

Michael was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor, the military’s highest honor, by President George Bush in 2007 for risking his life to save his teammates while tracking the terrorist leader, Ahmad Shah, in Operation Redwing.

Mr. Murphy said the Navy SEALs who descended on a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan on Sunday and killed Bin Laden could very well have known or trained with his son.

“I’m quite sure that when they were hitting that compound, they understood that this was payback for a loss of the Navy SEAL community,” he said.

Michael graduated from Patchogue-Medford High School in 1994 and from Pennsylvania State University, where he majored in political science and psychology, in 1998. Mr. Murphy said he was accepted to several law schools before he “turned a hard right and decided to go into the Navy.”

A warship bearing his son’s name will be christened in Maine this Saturday. It also would have been Michael’s 35th birthday.

A warship bearing the name of the Medal of Honor recipient will be christened Saturday — on what would have been Murphy’s 35th birthday — at Bath Iron Works, where the destroyer is being built.


Mr. Murphy said if his son was alive today, he would be proud of his colleagues for carrying out the demise of Bin Laden.

“They killed the beast,” he said. “This man was held accountable, found guilty and disposed, and so it’s not a grave loss.”

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