2012-09-20 / Local & State

Veterans Memorial Honors PSU Medal Of Honor Winner

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) – Penn State students have paid tribute to a late Navy lieutenant who was the school's only Medal of Honor recipient.

Penn State unveiled the new Veterans Plaza on campus

Friday, which includes a curved wall dedicated to Navy SEAL Lt. Michael Murphy. The 1998 Penn State graduate was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for leading a four- member SEAL team against overwhelming odds in a gun battle in eastern Afghanistan in 2005.

Already shot, Murphy left a protected position and went to a clearing where he was exposed to gunfire to get a clear signal to contact Bagram Airfield to relay the dire situation.

Murphy was killed on June 28, 2005 along with two members of this team and 16 rescuers, after their helicopter was shot down by a rocket- propelled grenade. The rescuers included eight Navy SEALs and eight members of the Army's elite Night Stalkers.

The Penn State Veterans Plaza was a gift from the Class of 2011. Murphy's father, Daniel Murphy thanked the school and students for honoring his son.

“This memorial yet reminds us and the students who walk this campus of the enormity of the sacrifices of those men and women who keep us safe,” Daniel Murphy said.

The dedication came the day before the football game Saturday between Navy and Penn State at Beaver Stadium. The school designated Saturday as Military Appreciation Day.

A Navy warship has also been christened in Michael Murphy's name.

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