The parents of fallen Navy SEAL Lt. Michael P. Murphy said that they forgive the teen who was arrested on Friday for smashing their son’s memorial.
“Michael was the type of person who would have wanted to take that man under his wing and talk to him,” said his father Daniel Murphy, according to ABC 7.
Murphy’s parents said they would be willing to meet with the 14-year-old boy, who was arrested in his home in Ronkonkoma, New York, on Friday morning. He was charged with criminal mischief, and his arraignment has not been scheduled, reported ABC 7. (RELATED: Duncan Hunter Calls Out ‘Pentagon Bureaucrats’ For Ignoring Military Valor In Iraq War)
The memorial was found broken into more than a dozen pieces on Thursday. It was a flat, circular piece of granite engraved with Murphy’s likeness and excerpts of his Medal of Honor citation.
“On June 28, 2005, during Operation Redwing, Lt. Michael P. Murphy made the ultimate sacrifice for his country and our freedom,” reads part of the inscription.
Murphy was 29 when he lost his life while leading a mission during the War in Afghanistan in 2005. His heroism when his team was surrounded by Taliban soldiers earned him a posthumous Medal of Honor in 2007. One of the four members of the team to survive the Taliban ambush, former Navy SEAL Marcus Luttrell, commemorated Murphy in his book “Lone Survivor.”
Luttrell posted on his Instagram account on Thursday that he would match the Crime Stoppers Award for any individuals with information about who vandalized the memorial.
Murphy’s mother Maureen Murphy said she wants the teen to read “Lone Survivor.”
“The boy who did this, he’s a child,” Maureen Murphy said, according to ABC 7. “He did something foolish. And everybody has done something foolish when they’re younger.”
The stone has been on display at a park in Long Island, New York, that was dedicated to Murphy’s memory in 2006, reported ABC 7.
“I am appalled and disgusted by this apparent act of vandalism,” said New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in a statement. “The State of New York will fully fund the replacement of the plaque, and I hope this brings comfort to [Murphy’s] family and community.”
Suffolk County, where the memorial was located, and the county’s biggest town, Brookhaven, also offered to replace the memorial.
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