Nov 12, 2014 10:36 PM
MANCHESTER- In front of a packed room, the parents of James Foley received the Nackey S. Loeb award on their son's behalf at the Radisson in Manchester. In 2012 Foley was kidnapped in Syria. This past August, the terrorist group ISIS murdered him.
"I believe that frontline journalism is important," said Foley in a 2011 Boston Globe video shown at the event. "Without these photos and videos we can't tell the world how bad it might be."
Donald Trump was invited to be the guest speaker at the event. He applauded the bravery Foley showed as a journalist in war torn parts of the world.
"I don't have that kind of courage," said Trump. "I have financial courage, but I don't have that kind of courage."
Foley's parents, Diane and John, said they have learned more about their son's life through his untimely death.
"I don't think we knew him as an adult truly," said Diane Foley. "We loved him dearly, but I don't think we realized how many people he had touched."
But the crowded hotel conference hall may have said it all. At times, the audience burst into applause, including when French freelance journalist Nicholas Henin took to the stage.
Henin spent seven months with Foley in a cell, after getting kidnapped by ISIS.
"What I can say is that I'm here as living evidence that James' parents can truly be proud of him because he was an awesome cellmate," said Henin. "There are many things that I remember that are quite interesting but that he would not be very happy if I tell them on TV."
Henin's presence at the ceremony shed light on Foley's final days.
"Even though his captivity was difficult we still managed to have some good times together, and I'm trying always to remember these good times. These times we were chatting together and making jokes and trying to laugh."
Henin was released after the European government negotiated with the terrorist group.
But he still recalls Foley's final words as he left him behind.
"See you, bro," Henin recalled.
One of the final moments in the life story of a man who dedicated his own life to telling the stories of others.
To honor their son, the Foley family has started the James W. Foley legacy fund. In part, it will help families of other hostages kidnapped abroad.
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