A Dorchester native and 2014 Dorchester Day Parade Chief Marshal, Brendan Murphy, an Army Veteran, cannot manage to stay away from the neighborhood for too long. He currently lives in St. Brendan’s Parish with wife Jacqueline.
Growing up in Savin Hill, he remembers watching the parade on Sundays from his father’s Murphy Funeral Home parking lot.
“All my cousins were there, probably 15 of us running around playing ball,” says 31-year-old Murphy. “The parade is childhood for me, and being able to get all my nieces, nephews and my friend’s kids to experience the same experience I had, it’s a great thing.”
For Murphy, the parade was a reminder that summer vacation was fast approaching. Usually taking place the week before the end of the school year, it was a time to play with all your buddies one last time before summer happens and everyone goes their separate ways. Whether they were going to camp or going away, it is the last weekend when you are a kid to hang out with all your friends.
Honored to be named the Parade Chief Marshal, he hopes to get family and friends who have not attended in years, to start coming again. “When you get to my age and you don’t have kids you stop going to the parade as much. I don’t have kids yet and most of my friends don’t either, so everyone is going to start coming back. They say, ‘Oh Brendan you’re in the parade, I’m going to come and watch you.’”
There are cousins, Murphy says, who have not been since they were ten years old.
“Now they’re all coming back, I’d like to say for me but also a little bit for [Mayor] Marty [Walsh],” he laughs. “Well, mostly for Marty.” Murphy knew he wanted to go into the military as a kid, playing army with friends. He went on to enroll in the U.S Army after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks and was active as a Medic for five years, serving in Iraq. He also served in the National Guard for five years.
Those 10 years spent serving our country were the only years he spent away from Dorchester. Upon his return he attended school for a while with the 9/11 GI Bill. He also worked with his father at the family- owned funeral home, joined the Massachusetts State Police just over two years ago and has been a neighborhood activist for veteran groups, as well as the Massachusetts Fallen Heroes Memorial and Run to Home Base program.
Graduating from the State Police Academy as part of a class of 208 recruits, everyone knew where he was from. They knew he was from Dorchester, “because I talk about it non-stop,” he joked. “When I was in the army nobody thought I was the kid from Boston, I was the kid from Dorchester. They specifically knew the name of where I was from.” “I’m a big advocate for the neighborhood,” says Murphy proudly. “I hope I’m able to get more people to come back, people who moved out of the neighborhood, to come back and watch the Dorchester Day Parade and see how much the neighborhood has changed since they either moved out or went away.”
Come meet or catch up with Brendan Murphy at The Chief Marshal’s Dinner on Friday, May 30 at 6 p.m. held at Florian Hall. To purchase tickets visit: http://fndr.se/zOvC  or call 617-877-3714. Tickets are not available at the door.