MEDIA
08/20/2014 01:07 pm ET Updated Aug 20, 2014

James Foley's Parents Speak Out: 'We Know Jimmy's Free...He's In Heaven'

James Foley's parents spoke to the media on Wednesday about their son, a journalist who was beheaded by members of the militant group Islamic State.

John and Diane Foley appeared outside their home in Rochester, New Hampshire. They said they were "so proud" of their son, who had been missing in Syria for nearly two years.

President Obama called the Foleys to express his condolences:

"He was a courageous fearless journalist," Diane Foley said. "He always hoped that he would come home."

She said that her son "would never want us to hate or be bitter."

John Foley spoke about James and the other hostages who have been killed or who are being held by IS.

"They never hurt anybody," he said. "They were trying to help. There's no reason for their slaughter."

He said that when people asked why James had repeatedly gone back to such dangerous places, he replied, "Why do firemen go back into a blazing home?...it was his job."

A reporter asked the Foleys how they were able to handle such a monstrous crime against their son.

"Every time we started to get despondent, we thought of Jim and his courage," Diane Foley said.

"We know Jimmy's free," John Foley replied. "He's finally free. And we know he's in God's hands...and we know he's in heaven."

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