Mayor Ed Koch was laid to rest Monday at Trinity Church cemetery in the Washington Heights are of Manhattan. Koch chose his burial place while he was still alive and had his headstone inscribed as well. NY1's Grace Rauh filed the following report.
Mayor Ed Koch will never have to leave Manhattan again. The former mayor was buried Monday at Trinity Church Cemetery in Washington Heights, and is the fourth mayor in the city's history to be laid to rest there.
A small group of friends and relatives attended the private burial. It was an intimate goodbye to the man who not only led the city for 12 years, but was in many ways the quintessential New Yorker.
Koch was born in Crotona Park East in the Bronx, about five miles from where he is buried.
"Just think about it. A Polish Jew in an Episcopal graveyard in a largely Dominican neighborhood. What could be more New York, or even more, Ed Koch," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said at Koch's funeral service in Temple Emanu-El in the Upper East Side.
Onlookers crowded the sidewalk across from the cemetery, which is non-denominational.
A Star of David is at the top of Koch's tombstone, and on it he inscribed the last words of Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal reporter who was murdered in 2002 by terrorists in Pakistan.
Pearl said, "My father is Jewish, my mother is Jewish, I am Jewish."
In a stunning coincidence, Koch died 11 years to the day after Pearl was killed.
Koch also wrote his own epitaph. He said of himself, "He was fiercely proud of his Jewish faith. He fiercely defended the city of New York, and he fiercely loved its people. Above all, he loved his country, the United States of America, in whose armed forces he served in World War II."
Eric Washington, who leads tours of the cemetery, said that when it came to choosing a final resting place, Koch did not have much of a choice if he wanted to stay in Manhattan.
"This is the only active cemetery on Manhattan, so it was here or elsewhere," Washington said.
Fernando Wood, A. Oakley Hall and Cadwallader Colden are the three other mayors buried at Trinity.
The cemetery is open to the public and just a short walk from the subway. Koch hoped that New Yorkers would come and visit.