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People line up to give their condolences to the family next to a sign that reads 'Remember Jim' with flowers and candles during a memorial service for slain U.S. journalist James Foley at the Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Church in Rochester, N.H., Sunday. / Katherine Taylor, epa

The parents of the American journalist who was kidnapped and later slain by Islamic State militants, released a letter they say he wrote while being held hostage.

Although his captors confiscated all of James Foley's writings, he asked a fellow hostage who was about to be freed to memorize one of his letters to his family.

"Eighteen of us have been held together in one cell." Foley said, according to the letter dictated by the hostage after being released. "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."

Foley described the endless conversations with his fellow prisoners, and the games such as chess and Risk they played to pass the time using scraps they found in their cell.

Foley said that "if there is any money left in my bank account" he wanted it to go to his brothers. He talked of how his memories of his brothers and sister sustained him during his ordeal.

"The special moments keep me hopeful," Foley said.

He told his grandmother to take her medicine, take walks and keep dancing. "Stay strong because I am going to need your help to reclaim my life," Foley told her.

Foley's parents shared the letter in a post on Facebook Sunday.

Also on Sunday, a Catholic Mass remembering Foley was held before a full house at Our Lady of the Holy Rosary church in Rochester, N.H. Along with his parents, and hundreds of others from his hometown, Gov. Maggie Hassan and Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Kelly Ayote were in attendance.

Bishop Peter Libasci read aloud a letter from Pope Francis extending his condolences to Foley's family.

"Thank you for loving Jim," his mother, Diane, told the crowd after the Mass.

Contributing: The Associated Press



Copyright 2014USAToday

Read the original story: Foley described ordeal in letter to family

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