“My father is Jewish, my mother is Jewish, I am Jewish.”
– Daniel Pearl
On February 1 in 2002, Wall Street Journal South Asia Bureau Chief Daniel Pearl was executed in Pakistan, after being kidnapped in the country while investigating a story on shoe bomber Richard Reid. The quote above were among the last words he spoke before his murder.
Also on this date, just last week in fact, former U.S. Congressman and New York City Mayor Ed Koch passed away at the age of 88.
Koch chose to be buried in the Trinity Church Cemetery, a quintessential New York location for a quintessential New Yorker, purchasing a plot there in 2008.
I don’t know if this is incredibly ironic, incredibly fitting or just plain spooky, but in an effort to make it clear he did not choose this location for religious reasons, Koch had his headstone inscribed with Pearl’s famous last words nearly four years before his death.
Ed Koch was one of my heroes. He was an untiring and powerful advocate for the State of Israel and a person who always remembered who he was and where he came from. I met him once (at Ratners, of course, a famous Lower East Side eatery where my grandfather took me for breakfast on many Sundays.) As he passed our table (and every other table!) he asked his trademark question: How’m I doing. Of course the answer generally was, “Just great!”
This picture was taken at a CJP event back in 1990 chaired by Ed Sidman and Susan Calechman. He attracted a great and enthusiastic crowd! He was a mensch and a tireless leader. We will miss him.