James Foley, the American journalist who was brutally beheaded on camera by a British born ISIS member recently, made every attempt he could to send word to his parents that he was alive and well.
The video of his beheading has shocked the western world to its core,,Such be-headings are becoming more commonplace in Syria and Iraq as ISIS, also known as the Islamic State, leaves a trail of death and destruction in its wake.
Foley was beheaded, after having been forced to read a prepared statement in English in which he had to say the most demeaning things about himself and his country, concluding with the chilling words he was forced to say at knife point, “I guess the shame is that I am American.”
Even though Foley, and another 17 hostages who were being held together by ISIS, kept their spirits up while incarcerated by chatting and playing games, life in captivity was no fun.
The ISIS people are so cynical and evil that they forbade James Foley from sending letters to his family to let them know he was okay. Why prevent the sending of a letter to a captive’s parents? After all, the captive was kidnapped and was not a soldier or aggressor.
In a remarkable show of bravery in the face of extreme adversity, and because his letters were being confiscated by ISIS, James Foley dictated a letter to another hostage who was due to be released, who in turn memorized it perfectly, and wrote down James’ words after his release.
James Foley’s parent posted the full letter on Sunday on a Facebook page called “Find James Foley.”
The letter is meaningful and full of love and shows the real difference between heroes, like James Foley, and cowards like ISIS, which oppresses and murders men, woman, and children, in the name of their God.
Here is the full letter as posted on Facebook:
“Dear Family and Friends,
I remember going to the Mall with Dad, a very long bike ride with Mom. I remember so many great family times that take me away from this prison. Dreams of family and friends take me away and happiness fills my heart.
I know you are thinking of me and praying for me. And I am so thankful. I feel you all especially when I pray. I pray for you to stay strong and to believe. I really feel I can touch you even in this darkness when I pray.
Eighteen of us have been held together in one cell, which has helped me. We have had each other to have endless long conversations about movies, trivia, sports. We have played games made up of scraps found in our cell…we have found ways to play checkers, Chess, and Risk… and have had tournaments of competition, spending some days preparing strategies for the next day’s game or lecture. The games and teaching each other have helped the time pass. They have been a huge help. We repeat stories and laugh to break the tension.
I have had weak and strong days. We are so grateful when anyone is freed; but of course, yearn for our own freedom. We try to encourage each other and share strength. We are being fed better now and daily. We have tea, occasional coffee. I have regained most of my weight lost last year.
I think a lot about my brothers and sister. I remember playing Werewolf in the dark with Michael and so many other adventures. I think of chasing Mattie and T around the kitchen counter. It makes me happy to think of them. If there is any money left in my bank account, I want it to go to Michael and Matthew. I am so proud of you, Michael and thankful to you for happy childhood memories and to you and Kristie for happy adult ones.
And big John, how I enjoyed visiting you and Cress in Germany. Thank you for welcoming me. I think a lot about RoRo and try to imagine what Jack is like. I hope he has RoRo’s personality!
And Mark… so proud of you too Bro. I think of you on the West coast and hope you are doing some snowboarding and camping, I especially remember us going to the Comedy Club in Boston together and our big hug after. The special moments keep me hopeful.
Katie, so very proud of you. You are the strongest and best of us all!! I think of you working so hard, helping people as a nurse. I am so glad we texted just before I was captured. I pray I can come to your wedding…. now I am sounding like Grammy!!
Grammy, please take your medicine, take walks and keep dancing. I plan to take you out to Margarita’s when I get home. Stay strong because I am going to need your help to reclaim my life.
No other words are needed.