Marquette University remembers James Foley one year after his death; “He gave everything to help others”

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MILWAUKEE -- The Marquette community is marking the one year anniversary of the death of one of the university's most well-known graduates. It was one year ago today that the world learned of the death of American freelance journalist, James Foley. His undergraduate alma mater wants to make sure his memory is not forgotten.

In August of 2014, the world reeled from the news that Foley had been beheaded by ISIS.

"A friend texted me that said 'I'm so sorry about Jim.' And I immediately knew something happened and I flipped on the TV and the first thing I saw was the image with him kneeling in the sand," said Thomas Durkin, James Foley's friend.

One year later, a small crowd gathers inside a chapel at Marquette University to remember Foley's life.

"I considered him my best friend," said Durkin.

Those who knew Foley well, and those who never met him, came together on Wednesday, August 19th. They say the Marquette grad's memory needs to be kept alive, because he was the embodiment of many of the values the university stands for.

"In the gospels, Jesus says there is no greater thing then to lay down your life for your friend. And that's what James did, looking at the people that he was reporting on as his friends," said Father Fred Zagone, S.J. Marqutte University.

Even though Foley graduated in 1996, current Marquette students say the way he lived his life is an inspiration.

"We should direct our attention in trying to show the positive things that not only James Foley did, but that we as individuals can do around the world -- but also for our neighbors here at home," said Zack Wallace, Marquette University Student Government President.

Those who loved him, want the world to remember Foley's sacrifice.

"He gave everything to help others to tell other people's stories and to tell stories that needed to be told," said Durkin.

The university has also started a James Foley scholarship. The first recipient was announced today.

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