A new Navy SEAL museum in memory of Patchogue native Michael P. Murphy, who was killed in action in Afghanistan in 2005, will be built in West Sayville next to the Long Island Maritime Museum, government officials announced Thursday.
The Lt. Michael Murphy Navy SEAL Museum honors Murphy, 29, who died trying to save fellow soldiers in a gunfight with members of the Taliban in eastern Afghanistan. He was posthumously awarded a Purple Heart, Silver Star and the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest decoration. In addition, a Navy destroyer, the USS Michael Murphy, was named in his honor.
“I cannot tell you how thrilled the Murphy family is by the building of this project,” said his father Dan Murphy at a news conference yesterday at the West Sayville County Golf Course in Charles R. Dominy County Park, where the new museum will be located on the park’s northeast side.
While the facility is named after Murphy, the museum’s true mission will be honoring “the spirit of all of our warriors protecting our country each and every day,” Dan Murphy said.
The 11,000-square-foot museum designed by architect Paul Dobiecki of Dix Hills will also have space for Navy sea cadets to study and train. The building will house a Navy-style “grinder” lot where cadets can workout. The cadet facility makes the museum into “a living and breathing memorial,” state Sen. Tom Croci (R-Sayville) said.
Croci, himself a commander in the Navy and advocate for the museum, announced the state has allocated $400,000 for the museum, with the rest of the estimated $3 million to $4 million cost to be raised by a dedicated foundation.
The new museum is touted as the first in the Northeast and the third Navy SEAL museum in the country, along with the National Navy SEAL Museum and Memorial in Fort Pierce, Florida, and the SEAL Heritage Center at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story in Virginia Beach.
Dan Murphy estimated the museum may be completed within 24 months.