Slain journalist Steven Sotloff mourned at public service

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PINECREST, Florida (CNN) — Hundreds of relatives, friends and officials mourned slain American journalist Steven Sotloff, killed by the terror group ISIS, in a memorial service Friday.

The public service for the Florida journalist was held at Temple Beth Am in Pinecrest outside Miami.

Among attendees were Florida Gov. Rick Scott, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist.

During the service, Sotloff’s parents addressed the assembly of about 900 people.

“I’m so proud my son lived his dream,” said mother Shirley Sotloff. “I may not have him physically, but I will always have him in my heart.”

Sotloff’s father, Art, was choked up with emotion.

“I will try to speak from my heart but my heart is broken,” the father said. “I lost my son and my best friend.

“He is done suffering.”

The freelance journalist disappeared during a reporting trip to Syria in August 2013 and was later determined to have been abducted.

On Tuesday, ISIS posted a video online showing one of its members beheading Steven Sotloff. The grisly killing provoked international outrage at the Islamic terror group, which seeks to establish an Islamic caliphate in parts of Syria and Iraq.

Sotloff, 31, grew up in South Florida with his mother, father and younger sister. He attended high school at a New England boarding school, Kimball Union Academy in New Hampshire.

A program was distributed to attendees in which Sotloff’s sister shared lyrics from Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here,” which the family said stirred their memories of Steven Sotloff.

At one point in the service, the song played, and mourners wept and sang softly to the music, using the lyric sheet.

His sister, Lauren, expressed her loss.

“Dear Steven, I love you very much…You were my best friend,” the sister said. “You introduced me to the X-Files and Freaks and Geeks.”

Rubio said the slain war correspondent “chose not to just be journalist but one to report where horrible things happen.”

“It was to bring to us stories about the people who were suffering unbelievable acts,” Rubio said. “Evil is still here. It has a different name but it’s still here, and he unmasked it.”