New Yorkers Remember Mayor Ed Koch
New Yorkers remembered Ed Koch Friday after the former three-term mayor died at the age of 88. NY1's Zack Fink filed the following report.
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Just two days after getting out of the hospital, Mayor Ed Koch was readmitted on Monday with fluid around his lungs.
Doctors said that is typically a sign of impending heart failure, which ultimately took the former mayor's life at approximately 2 a.m. Friday.
New Yorkers quickly weighed in on his death.
"I mean, I didn't live here at that time, but he's a bigger-than-life figure, and I'm really sorry to hear that he passed away," said one person.
"I live in Jersey, but I used to live in Brooklyn," said another. "I think he was just a mayor of all people, not just one particular group."
Koch had been in and out of the hospital over the last several months. He had previously said that death did not scare him, even picking his burial site in Washington Heights, just a few blocks away from where he passed away.
Koch engraved his own tombstone with a quotation from Daniel Pearl, a reporter from The Wall Street Journal who was murdered in Pakistan in 2002.
The quote reads, "My father is Jewish, my mother is Jewish, I am Jewish," and it notes that those were Pearl's last words before he was beheaded by a "Muslim terrorist."
In typical fashion for the iconic three term mayor, even his gravestone sends a strong message.
"I was a teenager when he was in office, but I liked his style," said one person. "I thought he was a no nonsense kind of guy. One of the few people who pushed back when you pushed at him."
Koch also wrote his own epitaph in 2009, which reads, "He was fiercely proud of his Jewish faith. He fiercely defended the city of New York and he fiercely loved its people."
The epitaph goes on to say that Koch loved his country above all else. He served in the armed forces during World War II.
The cemetery was busy preparing the grave site Friday afternoon. After his burial it will be open to the public, and Koch indicated in a recent documentary that he would like people to visit.