loss in the line of duty
October 30, 2001, the U.S. Customs Service lost one
of its own Senior Inspector Thomas Murray died
at the Port of Gramercy, La., while performing his duties.
He collapsed shortly after entering the cargo hold of
a ship loaded with scrap metal. A crewmember and the
captain of the Sakura I entered the cargo hold
to try to rescue him and were also overcome. The preliminary
report indicates the men may have suffocated.
Commissioner Robert C. Bonner attended Inspector Murray’s
funeral, which was held on November 2, at the St. Joseph
Catholic Church and Cemetery. The Customs Honor Guard
and bugler from Miami were also in attendance.
courtesy of Murray family
Murray began his career with Customs in 1975 in International
Falls, Minn., after serving in the U.S. Air Force. He
moved to Gramercy in 1981. His wife, five children,
his parents, two sisters, and five brothers survive
him. One of his brothers is also a Customs inspector
in Denver, Colo.
Gramercy, Inspector Murray was known for his dedication
to others. He was an active member of the Catholic Church,
working with elderly parishioners and others. He also
taught dozens of children to swim and helped his wife,
Joan, coach the Lutcher High School swim team.
Inspector Thomas Murray made the ultimate sacrifice
for our agency and our country. Tom will live on in
the body of his accomplishments," says Assistant
Commissioner Bonni G. Tischler, Office of Field Operations.
"His spirit will forever be reflected in the sunlight
glancing off the badges of all U.S. Customs Service