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Eleven Years Later: “My father is Jewish. My mother is Jewish. I am Jewish.”


Former NYC mayor Ed Koch passed away at the age of 88 this morning.

I did not pay much attention to politics in general during Mayor Ed Koch's terms in office in New York City. I am aware, however, of his level-headed thinking post September 11, 2001 in who/what our enemy is, and his thoughts on appeasing them. He felt no apprehension in going against his political party in voicing his misgivings and disappointments in the Obama administration.

However, eleven years ago today one thing struck him deep into his soul and he carrys it with him to the end...

Former New York City mayor Ed Koch died Friday morning at the age of 88. He plans to be buried in Manhattan, the three-term mayor said in 2008. His headstone and a memorial bench, placed at Trinity Church Cemetery in 2009, evoke his faith and his admiration of a murdered journalist. Koch explained his plans in 2008 to the Associated Press:

The marker will bear the Star of David and a Hebrew prayer, “Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One.” It also will be inscribed with the last words of journalist Daniel Pearl before he was murdered by terrorists in 2002: “My father is Jewish. My mother is Jewish. I am Jewish.”

Koch explained that he had been moved that Pearl chose to affirm his faith and heritage in his last moments.

Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and beheaded while in Pakistan investigating Al Qaeda. He died 11 years ago today.



May they both rest in eternal peace.

4 comments to Eleven Years Later: “My father is Jewish. My mother is Jewish. I am Jewish.”

  • antonio2009

    Interesting how nowhere did they mention "I am an American." I would personally use an epitaph referring to my nationality, not my religion.

  • Honey

    antonio2009, you missed the point. Koch was so moved and horrified by the Daniel Pearl beheading and Pearl's last words that he decided to use that as his own epitaph to memorialize those sentences. Koch celebrated America all the time and said so all the time. Forgive me but your comment seems insensitive to me. Daniel Pearl was not killed because he was an American. He was killed because he was a Jew and he was showing the bastards that killed him so brutally that he was defiant to the last.