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Letter to the Editor

More about Ed Koch

As a follow up to the death of New York Mayor Ed Koch that you covered in your Feb. 7 issue, we need to remind the K.C. Jewish community of his K.C. connection and of the close friendship he and own Mayor Dick Berkley enjoyed.

In the winter of 1987, there was a nationwide gathering in Washington, D.C., of supporters and activists of the Soviet Jewry movement. Over 100,000 mostly Jewish persons came by plane, auto, busses and trains and gathered on the Mall in front of the U.S. Capitol Building. I was fortunate to be on the planeload of over 100 from K.C. Upon arrival, we were met by Mayor Berkley and Kansas Congressman Dan Glickman.

Later during the lengthy program, Mayor Berkley, as chairman of the U.S. Association of Mayors, was scheduled to speak. When it was his turn, he said into the microphone for all to hear, “I’m turning my time over to my good friend, the mayor of New York City, Ed Koch,” who then delivered an impassioned speech about freedom for Soviet Jews.

Most of us in attendance thought that it was a big gesture for our honored mayor to have relinquished his time over to Mayor Koch. It was not surprising, since Dick Berkley’s 12 years as councilman and mayor were filled with numerous incidents of modesty and decency.

M.J. Rosenbloom

Prairie Village, Kan.