Family of slain journalist James Foley calls for more action to save others
Like the rest of the world, Diane said they learned of James Foley’s beheading after Islamic militants released a video online Tuesday.
“We believe he was a martyr — a martyr for freedom,” John Foley said of his son, a freelance journalist kidnapped in Syria in November 2012.
The Foleys said James, who had been held hostage in 2011 while working in Libya, was drawn in part to “conflict journalism” because two of his brothers and a sister serve in the military. He traveled to Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and other areas to find stories from war-torn nations.
“He was driven by the people’s deep desire to be free,” she said, adding her son was especially moved by the suffering of children.
The Foleys said they regret not speaking publicly about their son’s situation while he was being held captive.
On hearing how he was killed, James Foley’s 7-year-old niece, Rori, said “her heart was broken,” according to Diane Foley.
Both John and Michael Foley, younger brothers to James, recalled how he hoped to return home.
John Foley said he hopes the work of his son serves as an example to others, especially those facing a similar situation.
The Foleys urged the nation and world to do more for the other hostages held by Muslim extremists in Syria and Iraq.
“This particular group has cut a path through Iraq,” John Foley said, adding his son was caught up in this “path of suffering.”
The Foleys asked for people to pray to provide wisdom to our leaders and for mercy for the captives.
Diane Foley said the country needs to “find a way to protect courageous Americans,” especially the unarmed humanitarians who work to help others.
Despite the long ordeal, Diane Foley said any time the family “got despondent” in the past two years, “we thought of Jim.”
“We just ask Jim be remembered as a compassionate American who wanted to change the world,” Diane Foley said.
“We’re so proud of him,” she said.
“We also appreciate the tremendous amount of prayers,” James Foley said, adding the family believed the prayers helped sustain Foley during his time oversees and in captivity.
The Rev. Paul Gousse, the pastor at Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, met with the Foleys Tuesday night, and held a Mass for the family Wednesday morning.
Gousse and the Foley family released a statement Wednesday saying there will be a “holy Mass of healing, hope, and for peace” this Sunday at 2 p.m. at Our Lady of the Holy Rosary in Rochester.