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Grand Marshall


The Committee for the 8th Annual Greenpoint Veterans Memorial Parade, sponsored by Lexington Council #293 of the Knights of Columbus and St. Stanislaus Memorial Post #1771 of the American Legion, is privileged to announce that the Family of LT Michael P. Murphy, USN, Recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor for extraordinary heroism in Afghanistan, has accepted an invitation to march as Grand Marshals of the 2008 parade. LT Murphy’s Mother, Maureen and Brother, John from Patchogue, Long Island, will join several hundred military and civilian marchers on Sunday, May 25th, as the parade steps off from the American Legion Post at 519 Leonard Street at 9:00 AM to honor all Veterans, of all wars, living and deceased.

The Greenpoint parade is the last of the small “community” parades, previously held in many New York neighborhoods, a part of Americana quickly disappearing from the landscape of this city and nation. Ironically, the first parade took place only months before the attacks of 9/11, and was created to bring proper respect and admiration to our veterans and military members of all services.

The sponsoring organizations, now including the Slovak-American Club of Brooklyn, conceived this parade as a final tribute to our World War II veterans, who continue to die at the rate of 1,500 a day; our aging Korean War Veterans; our middle-aged Vietnam and Gulf War Veterans; and our recently returning veterans of the Global War on Terror. Our parade is very simply aimed at instilling a sense of pride and patriotism in our local children and residents, and to instill a spirit of love of adopted country in our newly arrived Polish, Slavic, Latino, Asian and Middle Eastern immigrant populations.

The honoree of this year’s parade unfortunately cannot march with us. Rather, we honor his memory, his camaraderie, his extraordinary courage, his sense of duty, and his service to his country.

On June 27th 2005, while leading a special reconnaissance mission with a Navy SEAL team in Asadabad, Afghanistan, LT Michael P. Murphy, USN, a Navy SEAL, demonstrated extraordinary heroism in the face of enemy fire when his four-member team was discovered by enemy sympathizers who revealed their location to a group of 30-40 Taliban fighters. He led his men in engaging the large enemy force. The ensuing firefight resulted in numerous enemy casualties, as well as the wounding of all four members of his team.

Ignoring his own wounds, when the primary communicator fell mortally wounded, he repeatedly attempted to call for assistance. Realizing it was impossible to communicate in the rugged terrain, in the face of almost certain death he fought his way into open terrain to gain a better position to transmit a call. Although exposed to direct enemy fire, he achieved contact with his headquarters, provided his location and requested immediate support before being mortally wounded himself.

On October 22nd, 2007, he was honored posthumously by his country when President George W. Bush presented to his parents, Maureen and Dan, the nation’s highest award for valor, the Congressional Medal of Honor.

The parade steps off at 9:00 AM, proceeds up Manhattan Avenue to St. Anthony’s Church for a 9:30 AM Catholic Mass for all living and deceased Veterans (optional for marchers.) After Mass, the parade re-forms and proceeds down Manhattan Avenue to the American Legion Post for a brief memorial service, to include an invocation, Flag-raising and the playing of “Taps.” New to the parade this year are an Air Force Junior ROTC unit from Staten Island, boats from the U.S. Coast Guard and NY Naval Militia, the New York Rangers Road Tour vehicle, and the “Honeymooners” vintage bus. Marching units from the Fleet Week ships USS KEARSARGE and USS THE SULLIVANS will join the U.S. Navy Band Northeast from Newport, Rhode Island. Come out and give a warm Brooklyn welcome to the Murphy Family and the Sailors and Marines visiting us from all around the country.