Daniel Pearl was added to the 30,000 names etched on the Holocaust Memorial Wall here on Sunday to honor the American journalist who was abducted and killed by terrorists in 2002.
Although Pearl’s death and the Jews of the Holocaust were executed by people of different faith, language and agendas, there is a common thread of hatred, his father Judea Pearl told a crowd of hundreds as his son’s name was unveiled as the first non-Holocaust victim to be remembered at the wall in Miami Beach.
“The forces of barbarity and evil are still active in our world. The Holocaust didn’t finish in 1945,” Judea Pearl said.
Daniel Pearl, the Wall Street Journal’s South Asia bureau chief, was abducted Jan. 23, 2002, while working on a story about Islamic militants in Karachi, Pakistan.
Four days later, the Journal and other media outlets received pictures of Pearl with a pistol to his head. A group calling itself the National Movement for the Restoration of Pakistani Sovereignty claimed responsibility for the kidnapping and demanded that suspected Taliban and al-Qaida fighters be released from U.S. custody.
The journalist’s body was found months later in a shallow ditch in a compound on the outskirts of Karachi. His throat had been slit.
Three Islamic militants are serving life sentences in Pakistan for the killing; a fourth was sentenced to death. A Pentagon transcript released last month revealed that suspected 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed confessed to personally beheading Pearl, among several attacks and plots he took credit for.
During the ceremony, famed violinist Ida Haendel played a song as Judea Pearl lit a candle.
He said he would always think of his son, a classically trained violinist, as “the journalist who is roaming the roads with a fiddle and a laptop spreading friendship and good will into the human faces behind the news.”
Daniel Pearl’s last words, “I am Jewish,” are the title of a book his parents wrote in 2004. A movie starring Angelina Jolie based on the memoirs of Pearl’s widow, Mariane, is scheduled to be released this year.
Daniel Pearl’s parents also started a foundation that bears his name and aims to eradicate hatred.
“We have a unique weapon — the legacy of a person that earned respect on the east, west divide so we feel compelled to use that legacy as much as we can.”
Members of Temple Emanu-El also lit candles and sang in honor of other survivors during the ceremony. Miami-Dade County is home to nearly 3,800 Holocaust survivors, according to the Greater Miami Jewish Federation.