Wednesday, April 23, 2014

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Cortland/Ithaca

NYC bids final farewell to former mayor

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NEW YORK -- Former Mayor Ed Koch was remembered Monday as the quintessential New Yorker inside a Manhattan synagogue where hundreds gathered to pay their final respects.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg delivered the eulogy today at Temple Emanu-el on the Upper East Side.

Former President Bill Clinton also spoke, along with some of Koch's relatives and friends, who fondly remembered the former mayor.

"Tough and loud, brash and irreverent, full of humor and chutzpah. He was our city's quintessential mayor," Bloomberg said.

"I sent him a note for his 88th birthday and he wrote me a nice letter back and he didn't typically mention his own illness. He asked about Hillary's health instead. He had a big brain but he had a bigger heart," Clinton recalled.

Koch, who aides say planned every detail of his funeral, was carried out at the end to the song "New York, New York."

Koch will be laid to rest during a private ceremony this afternoon at Trinity Cemetery in Washington Heights.

Despite his Jewish faith, the former mayor chose the location because it would allow him to be buried in Manhattan.

Koch's headstone is engraved with the final words of Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter who was killed by Terrorists in 2002.

It reads, in part, "My Father is Jewish, My mother is Jewish, I am Jewish."

The inscription also speaks of his fierce love of the city and his military service in World War II.

The city's 105th mayor will be honored this afternoon with a flyover by NYPD helicopters.

Koch died Friday morning of congestive heart failure at the age of 88.


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