Members of the U.S. Navy, Philadelphia police, fire and city government, including Mayor Michael Nutter, gathered on Thursday to memorialize U.S. Navy Petty Officer Michael Strange, 25, of Mayfair, in a service at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul followed by a flag presentation ceremony at Logan Circle.
The large group of dignitaries gathered for a 21-gun salute and paid their respects to Strange’s family, including his mother, a Philadelphia police officer, and the young fiancee he left behind.
“Mike was killed doing what he loved,” said aunt Maggie O’Brien. “He died serving alongside some of the finest men the country will ever see. Not a day will pass where we won’t think of Mike and thank him for the ultimate sacrifice he made for us and our country.”
Strange was a cryptologic technician who worked with a Navy SEAL team on the East Coast. He was killed Aug. 6 when the helicopter in which he was flying was shot down by insurgents in Afghanistan’s Wardak province.
“He served our country knowing the risks involved, but that didn’t change a thing,” said Strange’s best friend, Navy officer Ian Regnier. “He never wavered or faltered, knowing that his brothers depended on him.”