Koch remembered for his devotion to New York

3:08 PM, Feb 4, 2013   |    comments
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NEW YORK - As Mayor Michael Bloomberg sees it, no mayor has ever "embodied the spirit of New York City" like Ed Koch did.

Bloomberg spoke at today's funeral in New York for a man he described as "brash and irreverent" -- saying he must be "beaming" from all the attention created by his death.

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

In keeping with his take-charge nature, he had choreographed his own funeral. In his final days, a former aide says, Koch wanted to know everything about the planning for the event.

She also says Koch insisted on being buried in a cemetery near a subway stop, so New Yorkers could come and visit his grave.

Former President Bill Clinton, representing President Barack Obama at the funeral, said Koch had "a big brain" and "a bigger heart."

After the funeral, Bloomberg and former mayors Rudolph Giuliani and David Dinkins held their hands to their hearts, as police helicopters flew overhead and bagpipes wailed.

Koch's tombstone says he "fiercely" defended New York City, and that he loved its people and America.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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