I grew up right next to New York City, and lived there for two years while Ed Koch was mayor. In fact, I used to be a waiter for special events, including a brunch during which John Denver sang to visiting Chinese dignitaries. This was back during the Cold War, but after which relations with China had thawed somewhat.
So I shall remember Ed Koch on TV, visiting the neighborhoods and asking citizens “How’m I doin’?”
Whatever I may have thought of his policies then, I have to admit, he had style. You’re doing just fine, Ed. Thank you for your public service.
Ed Koch, the iconic former New York City mayor who died Friday, has some of slain Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl’s last words — “My father is Jewish. My mother is Jewish. I am Jewish.” — on his tombstone. Koch explained his reasoning for doing this in a 2011 blog post for The Huffington Post: “I believe those words should be part of the annual services on the Jewish High Holiday of Yom Kippur, and should be repeated by the congregants.”
Pearl was brutally murdered by al-Qaeda terrorists after being kidnapped in Pakistan in 2002, with his death videotaped and used as a propaganda tool. He died on February 1, 2002, eleven years ago exactly — making Koch’s usage of Pearl’s words symbolic in another way.