My Trip to Long Island National Cemetery
Farmingdale, New York
For awhile, I lived in Farmingdale, New York, which is the location of what is known as Pinelawn, a collection of cemeteries in the area, including Long Island National Cemetery, one of the largest national cemeteries in the country with over 346,000 interments. This final resting place of many of our country’s departed veterans is also the resting place of a number of my family’s ancestors.
In this first installment of “Honoring Our Fallen Heroes,” I am going to cover the life of Freeport native, and U.S. Navy Veteran, Edward James Murphy, my wife’s great-grandfather.
Ed Murphy (as his family knew him) was born on April 29, 1913 in Brooklyn, New York. His parents, William Joseph Murphy and Margaret Mary Shalvoy had a total of 10 children and eventually settled in Freeport, a populous coastal community on Long Island’s South Shore.
The family consisted of 8 boys and 2 girls with Ed and his older brother Bill at the helm. Talk about lots of protection for their 2 sisters.
Both Ed and Bill attended Freeport High School and played football there as evidenced by this 1929 team photo.
By 1930, you can see the entire family unit living in Freeport: William, Margaret, William, Edward, Raymond, Margaret, Joseph, Richard, John, Mary, and Robert. That’s a lot of Murphys!
On November 25, 1935, Ed married Lorraine Lehmann in Brookyln, New York. I have not yet been able to obtain a copy of their marriage certificate.
By 1940, Ed is still in Freeport living with his wife Lorraine and daughter Mary Lou. He is listed as working as a “Beer/Ales Salesman.” My guess is that this means he either worked for a liquor store or a beer distributor.
A few years thereafter, Ed enlisted in the United States Navy towards the end of World War II. According to this photo, Ed Murphy completed his training in Great Lakes, Illinois. This photo was found on Find A Grave and I am not sure of its original source.
In the Navy, Ed served as a “storekeeper.” The term no longer in use, a storekeeper was responsible for maintaining a ship’s military supply store. They were responsible for purchasing, procurement, shipping and receiving, and issuing equipment, tools, and essentially anything else they had in stock. I am very interested to see exactly what he did during the war and where exactly he was stationed during that time.
Unfortunately, Ed Murphy did not live much longer after serving in World War II. At the young age of 35, Edward James Murphy passed away at Meadowbrook Hospital in the Town of Hempstead leaving behind his entire family.
Thanks to Find A Grave and the Veterans Affairs Nationwide Gravesite Locator, our deceased veterans are easier to find more than ever. On Saturday, March 26, 2016, I took my wife to visit both of her great-grandfathers that are buried at Long Island National Cemetery. We don’t know the last time someone was there to visit him, but as we always do, we left a rock on top of his headstone to make sure that others know he will always be remembered.
Edward James Murphy – we salute you and thank you so very much for your service to this great country during World War II. You were taken from us way too young, but we hope you will be remembered forever.
As always, keep on digging.