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Pearl's name on memorial wall
Photo: AP
Daniel Pearl in captivity
Photo: AP
Daniel Pearl honored with Holocaust victims
Slain journalist is first person to be included in Holocaust Memorial Wall in Miami Beach who was not killed in 20th century genocide. He died for the same reasons that 6 million Jews were killed, his father Judea Pearl says
There are 30,000 names etched on the Holocaust Memorial Wall. On Sunday, another name was added, the first person to be included in the memorial who was not killed in the 20th century genocide.

 

But journalist Daniel Pearl died for the same reasons that 6 million Jews were killed, his father Judea Pearl said.

 

"The forces of barbarity and evil are still active in our world. The Holocaust didn't finish in 1945," 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.

 

During the ceremony, he asked one of son's heroes, famed violinist Ida Haendel, to play a song as he lit a candle in Daniel Pearl's memory.

 

Judea Pearl said he will always remember 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, 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 US custody.

 

His last words: 'I am Jewish'

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.

 

American authorities investigating the murder now believe the journalist's throat was slit by Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks.

 

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.

 

Although his son's death and the Holocaust were many years apart and "executed by people of different faith, different language and different agendas" they share a common thread of hatred, Judea Pearl said.

 

"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 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.

 

"Daniel Pearl died for the crime of being Jewish, which is the same reason the 30,000 other names on the wall also died and the six million who died in the Holocaust," said Norman Braman, chair of the Miami Beach Holocaust Memorial Committee.

 

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