Fallen D-Day Soldier from Kentucky to be Honored with Powerful Ceremony in Owensboro
Freedom is not free.- U.S. Air Force Colonel Walter Hitchcock
I can't think of a better story to share on this Veterans Day. There's going to be an incredibly powerful and special Day of Remembrance this weekend here in Daviess County. PFC Martin B. Murphy will be recognized, remembered and honored with a Memorial Mass at Saint Alphonsus Church here in Owensboro. This service is 77 years in the making.
PFC Murphy served in the 325th Glider Infantry and 82nd Airborne during World War II. He was among the more than 150,000 Allied soldiers who stormed the beaches of Normandy on June 6th, 1944. That was D-Day.
Over 4,000 Allied soldiers were killed that day. PFC Murphy, who's from right here in Daviess County, was one of them.
Here's a photo of Martin with his daughter, Mary.
Here's a photo of Martin, his wife Mary Rita and Mary.
Mary Juwaun Murphy Weaver was an infant when her father was tragically killed in Normandy. The only real memories she has of him are inspired by these photos and stories of her father told to her by other people.
On Sunday, her dad's story will be brought to life for other members of his family, Saint Alphonsus parishioners and members of the public who would like to join to celebrate an American hero who hails from St. Joseph.
Following Mass, PFC Murphy's story will be shared by Justin Hallman. Justin's a McLean County High School student who was given the assignment of researching PFC Murphy, writing his obituary and sharing that project with the family. My friend Ashley, who refers to PFC Murphy as "Uncle Martin," will be among those in attendance to celebrate his life. In her words, "We are so grateful we get to honor him this weekend." Martin, by the way, is Ashley's great-uncle and she, like so many others in the family, share his story fondly. They know, first-hand, exactly what the proclamation "Freedom is not free" means.
Following the Mass and presentation, there will be a marker placed at the foot of Martin's parents' grave and there will be full military honors.
The Memorial Mass gets underway at 2pm CST.