War hero memorial plan revised
What ever happened to a proposal to name a city park after Navy Medal of Honor recipient Lt. Michael Murphy, who died defending his Pearl Harbor SEAL team in Afghanistan in 2005?
Answer: After running into opposition from the SEAL Naval Special Warfare Foundation Hawaii, the Aiea Neighborhood Board and City Councilman Romy Cachola, City Councilman Charles Djou has shifted his focus to Triangle or Fort Ruger Park at the foot of Diamond Head.
He said the Waialae-Kahala Neighborhood Board at its July 17 meeting approved of the idea of renaming the city facility "Operation Red Wing Medal of Honor Park." Operation Red Wing is the name of the operation in Afghanistan three years ago where 19 soldiers and sailors were killed. Murphy led a four-man SEAL team in that operation that was tasked with finding a key Taliban leader in the mountainous terrain near Asadabad. Djou said representatives of the SEAL Special Warfare Foundation Hawaii and Pearl Harbor's SEAL Delivery Team 1 stationed at Pearl Harbor's Middle Loch attended the meeting and support the new proposal.
In June 2005 the SEAL team was ambushed by a large enemy force. Mortally wounded, Murphy left his position of cover to communicate with his headquarters. While being shot at repeatedly, Murphy calmly provided his unit's location and requested immediate support. He was the first sailor to receive the Medal of Honor from the war in Afghanistan.
Djou hopes that the City Council will approve his proposal before Veterans Day, Nov. 11. Part of his idea is to place a plaque at the three points of triangle park -- each bearing a name of the SEALs in the lieutenant's team who died that day: Murphy and Petty Officers 2nd Class Danny Dietz and Matthew Axelson.
This update was written by Gregg K. Kakesako.
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