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New Navy destroyer USS Michael Murphy arrives at Pearl Harbor

By William Cole

LAST UPDATED: 4:09 p.m. HST, Nov 21, 2012

More than 30 SEALs, several hundred family members and other sailors, hula dancers and a brass band greeted the Navy’s newest destroyer, the USS Michael Murphy, as it arrived at its new home port at Pearl Harbor this morning.

The ship memorializes the heroism of Lt. Michael Murphy, 29, who was with SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team 1 out of Hawaii, and who gave his life for fellow SEALs on a mission in the mountains of eastern Afghanistan on June 28, 2005. Murphy posthumously received the Medal of Honor.

Five Pearl Harbor SEALs died on the mission and when a rescue helicopter was shot down. In total, 19 Americans died. A sixth Hawaii-based SEAL, Marcus Luttrell, survived.

Adm. Cecil Haney, commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet, said that “every time the sailors on this ship cross the brow and salute, they are recognizing the tremendous heroism of Lt. Michael Murphy and what he has accomplished.”

More than 30 SEALs from Murphy’s unit, SDVT-1, stood at attention on the pier as the 9,200-ton, 509-foot warship pulled pierside with the crew of about 280 lining the rails.

Cmdr. Jon MacDonald, who now commands SDVT-1 and was with the Hawaii unit when Murphy and the others were killed, said it was “pretty emotional” seeing the warship arrive named for a fellow SEAL.

“I have a hard time putting in words what the feeling was, but when I see Mike’s name, I know Mike’s a really humble guy, and he would probably look at all this stuff and think, ‘C’mon, what’s all this for?’ ” MacDonald said. “But Mike is representative of the type of guy that we have in the (SEAL) community. He’s certainly a hero as were all the guys that were lost that day.”        

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