Michael P Murphy

A Fallen Soldier

President Bush Praises Lt. Michael P. Murphy in Weekly Radio Address, November 24, 2007

I was driving to Brooklyn yesterday when I heard the main local news station, WCBS 880, mention that President Bush had praised a local soldier who had died in Afghanistan. As soon as they said he was a Navy Seal I knew they were talking about Lt. Michael P. Murphy. I also then hoped that many of Lt. Murphy’s friends and family in nearby Long Island heard mention of him in the WCBS newscast.

I just checked via Google and see that President Bush mentioned Lt. Murphy in his weekly radio broadcast on Saturday, November 24, 2007.

Here are some links to reports on the speech, along with excerpts of the parts that mention Lt. Murphy.

Bush Extends Thanks to Troops Overseas:

Bush recalled the story of Lt. Michael Murphy, a Navy SEAL whom the president posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor in October. In 2005 in Afghanistan, Murphy exposed himself to deadly enemy fire on the battlefield in order to make a desperate call for help for his elite combat team.

“This weekend, we give thanks for the blessings of young Americans like Lt. Michael Murphy, who risk their own lives to keep us safe,” the president said.

Bush hails LI Medal of Honor winner’s heroism. Newsday is Long Island’s main newspaper. This article includes a picture of Lt. Murphy:

Calling on Americans to be thankful for the sacrifices made by soldiers overseas, President George W. Bush Saturday hailed a Long Island Navy SEAL whose heroism in Afghanistan cost him his life and earned him the nation’s highest military award.

In his Saturday radio address, Bush recalled the actions of Lt. Michael Murphy of Patchogue, who was killed trying to save his three subordinates in a mountainside firefight with insurgents near the Pakistan border in June 2005.

Bush, who posthumously awarded Murphy the Medal of Honor last month, briefly recounted Murphy’s desperate call for reinforcements as his team was surrounded.

“With complete disregard for his own life, Michael Murphy moved into a clearing where he could get a signal,” Bush said. “As he made the call, Michael fell under heavy fire. Though severely wounded, he said ‘thank you’ before signing off, and returned to the fight.”

Murphy, 29, and two members of his team were killed as they fled down the mountainside. The lone survivor, Petty Officer 1st Class Marcus Luttrell, has written a book about the battle.

“This weekend, we give thanks for the blessings of young Americans like Lieutenant Michael Murphy, who risk their own lives to keep us safe,” Bush said.

Reached Saturday, Murphy’s father, Daniel Murphy, of Wading River, said he was unaware that the president had spoken of his son during the Saturday address but was honored by it.

“That was nice of him,” Daniel Murphy, 60, said.

At a Medal of Honor ceremony at the White House last month, Bush met privately with Murphy’s family and told Daniel Murphy that his son was an inspiration.

“The fact that he mentioned Michael during this Thanksgiving season shows that what he portrayed at the White House were his true feelings,” Daniel Murphy said.

Murphy arose early Thanksgiving Day to visit his son’s grave site at Calverton National Cemetery, laying a bouquet of autumn flowers near the tombstone before having dinner with in-laws.

He said most Americans are so preoccupied with day-to-day challenges that they often lose sight of the sacrifices made by military personnel. But he said most Americans do appreciate those sacrifices during reflective moments, particularly during the holidays.

“It’s not like World War II when there were sacrifices on a daily basis in terms of collecting clothes and rationing, so it’s not as immediate for people now,” Murphy said. “So we rely on the press and families like mine to remind them that there are people out there who put their lives on the line to defend us.”

The New York Islanders held a brief ceremony last night in recognition of Lt. Murphy and his family, Daniel Murphy said.

Transcript: President Bush’s Radio Address. This article has the complete transcript of President Bush’s speech, which is reproduced below. I have emphasized the instances of Lt. Murphy’s name.

PRESIDENT BUSH: Good morning. This week our Nation celebrated Thanksgiving. American families and friends gathered together to express gratitude for all that we have been given. We give thanks for the freedoms we enjoy. We give thanks for the loved ones who enrich our lives. And we give thanks for the many gifts that come from this prosperous land. Thanksgiving is a time when we acknowledge that all of these things, and life itself, come not from the hand of man, but from Almighty God.

Earlier this week, I visited Berkeley Plantation in Virginia. The story of this historic setting goes back nearly four centuries to another day of thanks. In 1619, a band of 38 settlers departed Bristol, England for Berkeley. At the end of their long voyage, the men reviewed their orders from home. The orders said, quote, “The day of our ship’s arrival … shall be yearly and perpetually kept holy as a day of Thanksgiving to Almighty God.” In response, the men fell to their knees in prayer. And with this humble act of faith, the settlers celebrated their first Thanksgiving in the New World.

Berkeley’s settlers remind us that giving thanks has been an American tradition from the beginning. At this time of year, we also remember the Pilgrims at Plymouth, who gave thanks after their first harvest in New England. We remember George Washington, who led his men in thanksgiving during the American Revolution. We remember Abraham Lincoln, who revived the Thanksgiving tradition in the midst of a terrible civil war.

Throughout our history, Americans have always taken time to give thanks for all those whose sacrifices protect and strengthen our Nation. We continue that tradition today — and we give thanks for a new generation of patriots who are defending our liberty around the world. We are grateful to all our men and women in uniform who are spending this holiday weekend far from their families. We keep them in our thoughts and prayers. And we especially remember those who have given their lives in our Nation’s defense.

One of these brave Americans was Lieutenant Michael Murphy. In June 2005, this officer gave his life in defense of his fellow Navy SEALs. Michael was conducting surveillance on a mountain ridge in Afghanistan, when his four-man SEAL team was surrounded by a much larger enemy force. Their only escape was down the side of the mountain. The SEALs launched a valiant counterattack while cascading from cliff to cliff. But as the enemy closed in, Michael recognized that the survival of his men depended on calling back to base for reinforcements.

With complete disregard for his own life, Michael Murphy moved into a clearing where he could get a signal. As he made the call, Michael fell under heavy fire. Though severely wounded, he said “thank you” before signing off, and returned to the fight. His heroism cost him his life — and earned him our Nation’s highest decoration for valor, the Medal of Honor. This weekend, we give thanks for the blessings of young Americans like Lieutenant Michael Murphy, who risk their own lives to keep us safe.

We’re also blessed by the many other Americans who serve a cause larger than themselves. Each day our Nation’s police and firefighters and emergency responders and faith-based and community volunteers dedicate their time to serving others. While we were enjoying our Thanksgiving turkeys, tens of thousands of these men and women were on the job — keeping their fellow citizens safe and bringing hope and compassion to our brothers and sisters in need. And their sacrifice reminds us that the true strength of our Nation is the goodness and decency of our people.

Since America’s first Thanksgiving, we have changed in many ways. Our population has grown. Our people have prospered. And we have become a great beacon of hope and freedom for millions around the world. Despite these changes, the source of all our blessings remains the same. We are grateful to the Author of Life who blessed our Nation’s first days, who strengthened America in times of trial and war, and who watches over us today.

Thank you for listening.

Bush Urges Americans to Give Thanks for Troops in Iraq, Afghanistan

Bush recalled the story of Lt. Michael Murphy, a Navy SEAL whom the president posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor in October. In 2005 in Afghanistan, Murphy exposed himself to deadly enemy fire on the battlefield in order to make a desperate call for help for his elite combat team.

“This weekend, we give thanks for the blessings of young Americans like Lt. Michael Murphy, who risk their own lives to keep us safe,” the president said.

Bush Extends Thanks to Troops Overseas:

Bush recalled the story of Lt. Michael Murphy, a Navy SEAL whom the president posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor in October. In 2005 in Afghanistan, Murphy exposed himself to deadly enemy fire on the battlefield in order to make a desperate call for help for his elite combat team.

“This weekend, we give thanks for the blessings of young Americans like Lt. Michael Murphy, who risk their own lives to keep us safe,” the president said.

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November 25, 2007 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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