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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Kirk Andrew Murphy's Legacy Day 2 Thoughts on Box Turtle Bulletin, CNN et al | Maris Ehlers Photography

I'll be honest.  It's been a crazy ride.  I think our whole lives have been, but I'll stick to the last couple of days for now.  

First of all, we are all so overwhelmed by the support and love to shown to us by family, friends, childhood  mates and yes, even strangers.  Many, many strangers! Totally overwhelming.  

I do want to say that I stayed up until almost 3 a.m. reading every post, comment, tidbit and morsel I could find, on CNN, Box Turtle Bulletin, Twitter, Facebook, Google, Social Mention, and any other site or blog that mentioned it. 

Why?  For proof.  Proof that this moment has really happened, to see in "real" time how Kirk's name, story and life has made so many people stop - if even for a moment - and think about other people around them who may be suffering because they are different... in any way. 

Many of you have voiced your opinions, and we've heard them.  We only ask that each of you who want others to have an open mind and heart keep yours open, too.  Remember this story started decades ago at a time when not much was known about being different.  While some of us may feel that society isn't as accepting today as it should be, think about what it would have been in the 1960's and early 70's.   

The sad reality is that this therapy still happens today.  Over 40 years later, in a world that should have such a different perspective, in a world that should be able to celebrate diversity, it happens and is often hidden.  It damages children, adults, families, relationships and souls.  It ends lives.  


We have no idea what tonight's story brings, but we are ready.  So many talented journalists, bloggers, producers, writers, editors, cameramen, crews and correspondents  have come together to give Kirk a voice, and we are forever humbled and grateful.  


The original article about Kirk's Legacy and Our Promises is here.

You can also visit: and Box Turtle Bulletin for more reports and videos. 


Brent McConnell said...


I knew your brother well. We attended language school together (he was a Chinese student and I was Korean student) and were stationed in Korea together. He was one of our gang--we worked together daily and hung out socially often--we were very close-knit.

Kirk stood out in our group for a few reasons--in a crazy, hectic, youngster-fueled environment, Kirk was a true gentleman--he was mature, compassionate, steady and an honorable friend. He was looked up to by our group and his opinion mattered to all of us--we trusted him and enjoyed having him in our family.

Linguists are generally a high-IQ, arrogant bunch sometimes with more smarts than maturity (in hindsight, we got into some crazy, stupid stuff). Kirk was different. He was highly intelligent, but he was not arrogant--he was humble. He was not immature--he seemed much older than his age and he was solid. He watched the dumb things the rest of us did and would give a quiet smile--never criticizing, but letting us know that we should have known better. He was an important part of many of our lives in the Air Force and he is missed.

I never knew anything about Kirk being gay or not being gay. It was never a topic of discussion or even curiosity. Kirk was Kirk. He was a better person than most of us and he was family. Nothing else mattered to any of us.

I imagine you will get alot of emails now that CNN has aired the story.

I hope that you get emails too from the people that knew Kirk well--his closest social group in the Air Force was about 10 to 15 people. We spent alot of time together because we all performed the same specialized job and had the same assignments.

My condolences to you and you family. I hope that what Kirk experienced saves others from the same tragedy.

Again, I hope this process provides healing to you and your family. You were blessed with a great brother.

Brent McConnell
Washington DC

grendelkhan said...

Meris, I hope you don't mind but I posted this email address on the Skivvy Nine group on Facebook. Many of us were friends of Kirk's and this story has left us shocked, stunned, and saddened. Kirk left a lasting impression on everyone he served with and we're all so sorry he's gone.

Maris Ehlers Photography said...

We are overwhelmed. Kirk served his country with pride and made lasting friendships in the military, and we know each of you did as well.

Thank you so much for sharing the email address. We look forward to hearing from some of them and some fond memories.


Anonymous said...

I read of your brother's horrible situation through I live in Australia. It broke my heart that people would do such things to children. And I was so sad, thinking about how your brother must have felt about himself. This Rekers man should be made accountable for his actions. He is a disgrace, and he surely has blood on his hands. I'm sure that there are lots of adults out there, that have been put through the same torture that your brother was put through. God bless you for bringing this to light.