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August 20. 2014 2:41PM

Parents of slain journalist in Rochester call James Foley a 'martyr for freedom'


After a video was released of their son's beheading by ISIS extremists Tuesday, John and Diane Foley, of Rochester, fondly remember their son, James, a freelance journalist who was kidnapped in Syria and held for more than two years , outside their home on Victoria Circle Wednesday. (John Quinn Photo)

ROCHESTER — After speaking to President Barack Obama by telephone Wednesday afternoon, John and Diane Foley expressed the gamut of emotions in reaction to the murder of their son, James, by ISIS terrorists.

Like the rest of the world, Diane said they found out second-hand after a video of Foley’s beheading was released online.

"We knew it was Jim. We didn't watch the video," Diane said

James Foley, who worked as a freelance journalist, had been held since being kidnapped in Syria in 2012.

"We believe he was a martyr - a martyr for freedom," his father said, adding that James died following his passion.

The family – including son, Michael – urge the nation and world to do more for the other hostages held by extremists in Syria and Iraq.


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