One year later, journalist killed by ISIS is remembered by community

New Hampshire Union Leader
August 19. 2015 9:26PM

ROCHESTER — One year after New Hampshire journalist James Foley was brutally murdered at the hands of ISIS terrorists, his Rochester parents quietly marked the day with prayer and thoughts of their son.

“This has challenged John and I to think bigger, and really care about those who don’t have freedom or justice,” said Diane Foley, in a statement issued by the James W. Foley Foundation.

The Foley Foundation was founded to commemorate Foley’s life and continue his legacy as a freelance journalist, teacher and humanitarian. The foundation focuses on advocacy and working with the government on evidence-based policy and holding the government more accountable.

“Jim was known for his caring and joyful spirit, commitment and bold idealism,” said Diane and John Foley in a joint statement. “He gave a voice to those marginalized by poverty and conflict. Jim befriended them, listened to their stories and advocated for them. Through Jim’s Foundation, we seek to continue his legacy and inspire others to continue his work of giving voice to those who have none.

“August 19 will always be a difficult day for our family and Jim’s friends. But Jim’s spirit of goodness has touched our world and his Foundation is committed to inspiring others to promote freedom and justice.”

Foley, 40, was kidnapped in November 2012 in northwest Syria and beheaded Aug. 19, 2014, by militants from the Islamic State, also known as ISIS. His murder was filmed and posted online. ISIS claimed the killing was in response to U.S. airstrikes against ISIS targets in Iraq.

Another American journalist with ties to New Hampshire, Steven Sotloff, 31, who attended high school at Kimball Union Academy in Meriden, was also held captive and beheaded by ISIS militants in September 2014.

On Wednesday, Marquette University held a celebratory Mass in memory of Foley, a 1996 graduate, where school officials announced the first recipient of the James Foley scholarship. Jake Zelinski, 18, of Rochester Hills, Mich., plans to major in theater arts and digital media at Marquette, according to a release.

Both of New Hampshire’s U.S. senators issued statements marking the one-year anniversary of Foley’s death.

“I can only imagine how difficult today must be for James’ family, and I continue to pray for them to find strength and comfort,” said Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-NH. “Today we remember James’ tremendous courage and dedication to preserving and sharing the stories of those who had no voice of their own. We also recommit ourselves to finding those responsible for James’ murder — we will not rest until they are brought to justice, and we must not relent in the fight against ISIS.”

“On the anniversary of James Foley’s death, we remember a courageous and inspiring journalist who dedicated his life to telling stories from the Middle East that needed to be told,” said Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-NH. “The Foley family is in my thoughts, and I wish them strength and peace as they remember James. It can’t be said enough: James Foley’s killers are cowards who must be brought to justice. As ISIS continues their barbaric killings, these despicable acts strengthen our country’s resolve to defeat them and their hateful ideology.”

NH PeopleWarRochester

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