Several hundred people packed into Gesu Church at Marquette University Tuesday evening, for a memorial service in honor of slain journalist James Foley.
Foley graduated from Marquette in 1996 and was captured in Syria two years ago. The radical group, Islamic State, executed Foley earlier this month.
A lone bagpiper stood just outside the doors of the massive parish, as dozens of people filed into the service.
Grace Miller of Chicago is one of many Marquette students here today. She calls Foley’s death a tragedy and says it’s important to show solidarity.
“He’s part of the Marquette family and always will be even though he graduated in ’96 which was nearly 20 years ago but, once you graduate from Marquette, you’re always a part of the Marquette family,” Miller says.
Another student is Tracy Wietecha of Detroit. She says Foley’s death strikes a chord in the community.
“I guess it really touches you, especially when it’s something that’s so close. I think it brings a lot of what’s going on in the world close to home,” Wietecha says.
Kyle Radous drove down from Appleton. He graduated from Marquette’s College of Business in 2010. Radous says attending the service makes him feel like he’s giving back to the community.
“We’re all in it together. When one of us goes down we all go down. We all just want to rebuild and hopefully give the powers-that-be a piece of our mind as to how we’re not going to stand for it. We’re going to do the right thing, the right thing will prevail,” Radous says.
Radous says Foley’s death has caused him to pay more attention to unrest in the Middle East.