Slain journalist Daniel Pearl buried in private Los Angeles ceremony

Sunday, August 11th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Slain Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl was buried Sunday in a private ceremony during which he was remembered as an inspiration to family, friends and millions of strangers.

``We finally laid to rest our beloved son, husband, brother and father in his home town,'' Pearl's family said in a prepared statement.

Pearl, 38, was kidnapped and killed in January in Pakistan while working on a story about links between Islamic extremists and Richard C. Reid, who allegedly tried to ignite explosives hidden in his shoe during an international flight.

Pearl's body, in an oak casket covered with red flowers, was returned to the United States on Thursday.

The service Sunday was held at an undisclosed location in Encino, an area of Los Angeles where Pearl's family lives.

During the ceremony, Pearl's father, Judea, chanted the Kaddish, the Jewish prayer of mourning.

Mitchell Newman, one of Pearl's friends, played a selection from Bach on the violin, and Rabbi Harold Schulweiss reflected on the significance of Pearl's life and work.

``Danny will continue to inspire his family and the millions of friends and strangers who were touched by his life and death,'' the family statement said.

The family asked that anyone interested in offering memorials to Pearl initiate or support musical events in their communities on Oct. 10, Pearl's birthday. Pearl played the violin.

``He will always be remembered for his pursuit of truth and dialogue, his respect for people of all backgrounds, and his love of music, humor and friendship,'' the family said.

In February, a videotape given to American diplomats confirmed that Pearl was dead. A body found in May in a shallow grave in Karachi was later identified as Pearl's through DNA.

Last month, four men, including British-born militant Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, were convicted of the kidnapping and slaying. Saeed was sentenced to death by hanging and the others received life sentences. All have filed appeals, and seven others are being sought in the case.

A collection of Pearl's stories, ``At Home in the World,'' was published last month.

His family has also formed The Daniel Pearl Foundation to promote cross-cultural understanding through journalism, music and innovative communication.