Former NYC Mayor Ed Koch will rest beneath a tombstone bearing some of slain journalist Daniel Pearl’s last words on his Jewish identity.
Former New York City Mayor Ed Koch died Friday of congestive heart failure at 88.
Koch, born in 1924 to Jewish Polish immigrants, told the Associated Press in 2008 that he was so moved by some of slain journalist Daniel Pearl’s last words, spoken on a hostage video, that he chose to have them engraved on his tombstone.
Pearl, a Wall Street Journal reporter, was kidnapped and murdered in Pakistan in 2002 while reporting on Islamic movements in the country. In a brochure on their Web site, The Daniel Pearl Foundation says of his last words:
“Pearl’s only crime was being a Jewish American — something Daniel Pearl would never deny,” President George W. Bush said at an event honoring him in 2007. Read Bush’s moving tribute to Pearl here.
According to Post reporting, Koch’s tombstone “also includes a Jewish prayer — the AP says it’s “Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One” — and the epitaph [Koch] wrote after his stroke”:
Koch will be buried at the nondenominational Trinity Church Cemetery. In the 2008 AP report, “Koch said he was thrilled to learn from a former aide now working for Trinity that the church permits Jews to be buried there and still had space.”