NEW YORK (AP) – 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 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.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)
- See how top CFOs feel about economic growth in the Valley
- Migraine myths that keep patients from effective treatments
- Here’s why Gaydos went tankless with his water heater
- 12 things to watch before the Oscars
- Bocce ball and basketball: How you can help Arizona's Special Olympics athletes
- Tips on building the best wine room in Arizona
- Avoid the nightmare: 6 tips to choose a great contractor
- Breast cancer: Improved testing and treatments means more survivors
- Best and worst of Super Bowl commercials
- Failed back surgery: New hope for patients living in pain
- Ticking time bombs: Telltale signs your water heater is about to explode
- Reading glasses could be a thing of the past
- 6 cool ways teachers are using technology in the classroom
- Emerging tech jobs in Phoenix and how to get one in 2017
- 4 top treatments athletes use for pain
- Emergency! What to do when bathrooms flood
- Operation Santa Claus needs holiday help
- This college bowl season is likely to be epic
- Arizona kids in crisis: How you can help
- 11 holiday classics for the ultimate movie marathon
- New treatment offers hope for migraine sufferers
- 11 stadiums to watch your favorite football team
- Shopping for a TV? Best models for 2016
- The new beer pairing guide for holiday foods
- Avoid this holiday plumbing disaster in your home
- 7 tips to avoid holiday weight gain
- New treatments mean better prostate cancer survival rates
- 5 of the scariest things found in drains
- 6 tips to create the best family movie night
- New bone marrow procedure holds promise for healing pain