By Scott Foster, NBC News producer
A day after an emotional ceremony at the White House, Medal of Honor recipient Lt. Michael Murphy was honored today at the Pentagon where his name was added to the Hall of Heroes before a packed audience of Navy SEALS, New York City firefighters and several other Medal of Honor recipients.
Murphy's parents, Dan and Maureen, held back tears as they unveiled the wall inscribed with Michael Murphy's name - the first Medal of Honor recipient from the war in Afghanistan. After a few seconds of looking at the name, Michael's father kissed his hand then placed it lightly over his son's inscription. Lt. Michael Murphy joins the hallowed ranks of over 3,000 U.S. military personnel who have been awarded the Medal of Honor -- the military highest honor presented for "uncommon valor" in combat.
Dan Murphy said the experience was a "little overwhelming," and in his remarks noted that another 18 other military personnel died heroically in the operation that claimed his son.
Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England, Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Gary Roughead, and Navy Secretary Donald Winter all praised Murphy's bravery in June 2005 during a Taliban ambush when he knowingly put himself in the line of fire to make a satellite call to rescue his 4-man SEAL team in the Hindu-Kush mountains. Murphy's fellow SEAL Marcus Luttrell survived, but tragically 16 other US troops were killed when their helicopter was shot down as they attempted to rescue the team.
Luttrell, who attended the Pentagon ceremony today, told NBC in an interview last week he wasn't surprised by Murphy's heroic actions on that fateful rugged mountain ridge over two years ago.
"That's why he was on there on that mission," he said, "that's why he was our leader, that's why he was in charge, we don't keep officers around if they don't pull their weight."
Dozens of New York City firefighters filled an overflow room at today's ceremony to pay tribute to the Long Island native who always wore a New York firefighter badge on his uniform while deployed overseas to honor the victims of the 9-11 attacks.