Political figures mixed with constituents as over 350 people turned out to pay their respects to Ed Koch. Among the mourners was former president Bill Clinton who spoke during the funeral ceremony.
Speaking to the congregation Clinton held aloft several letters Ed Koch had sent him over the years. Clinton said they had corresponded on various topics from gun control, to the Holocaust Memorial, to an anti-smoking campaign.
Koch, who “hated cigarettes,” had suggested that Clinton “Go after the virility argument.”
A clearly emotional Clinton went on to recall Koch’s famous tagline, “How’m I doin?”
Clinton said, “We’re all doing fine, but we miss you. We all know we're doing a lot better because you lived and served.”
Speaking to the crowds in Temple Emanu-El on the Upper East Side, Manhattan Mayor Michael Bloomberg remembered Koch as “full of humor and chutzpah” calling him “our city’s quintessential mayor.”
He said, “I come with the love and condolences of eight million New Yorkers.
“No mayor has ever embodied the spirit of New York City and no one mayor ever will.”
Koch was eulogized by his Ambassador of Israel Ido Aharoni as a true friend of the Jewish state. His nephews Shmuel, Jonathan and Jared, his grand-nephew Noah, and grand-niece Hannah also spoke.
In the front row were former mayors Rudy Giuliani and David Dinkins, and Fox TV host Gerald Rivera. Behind them sat Gov. Mario Cuomo and his son, current Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and Rep. Charles Rangel.
Also present were Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, former senator Al D’Amato, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, Rep. Pete King, Peter Vallone, Andrew Stein, Liz Holtzman, Carol Bellamy and Bill Thompson.
The cover of the funeral service booklet read, “Public service, when done honorably and it's done well, is the noblest of professions.”
Koch passed away on Friday, at the age of 88, from congestive heart failure.
He was laid to rest at a private ceremony at Trinity Cemetery in upper Manhattan.
Upon his tombstone were the last words journalist Daniel Pearl spoke before he was murdered in 2002 by Islamic terrorist. It read, “My father is Jewish, my mother is Jewish, I am Jewish.”
Here’s Bill Clinton’s eulogy for Ed Koch:
Ed Koch’s funeral in its entirety here: