A memorial for slain journalist was conducted in suburban Miami amidst heart rending scenes. Steven’s father was anguished and in a choked voice said that he struggling to find a larger purpose in the loss of his son.
The anguished father of slain journalist Steven Sotloff told hundreds gathered Friday afternoon at a memorial in suburban Miami that he is struggling to find a larger purpose in the loss of his son.
With his voice cracking from emotion and loss, he said: “I want to speak from my heart but my heart is broken. Steven was my best friend. We went everywhere together … I have lost my son and best friend, but I know that his passing will change the world. He is in God’s hands now. He’s not suffering.”
A gory video showing the beheading of Steven Sotloff was released by ISIS on Tuesday. The freelance journalist was covering the Middle East and disappeared on August 2013 from Syria where he was reporting on the civil war.
Relatives, friends, loved ones poured into the temple to mourn his death. There was seething anger under the somber mood. More so for his friends who still recalled his giant smile, an idealistic and compassionate heart, an inquisitive nature, and a slightly mischievous twinkle in his eye. Friends described him as an honorable, brave, remarkable, brilliant, a believer in facts. There were many people who did not know Sotloff but still attended the mass to show solidarity with the grieving parents who are still dazed and in a state of disbelief that their son is no more.
In captivity Sotloff managed to smuggle two letters home to his family. A cousin read from one he wrote last May.
“Everyone has two lives. The second one begins when you realize you only have one.”
“Do what makes you happy. Be where you are happy … Love and respect each other. Doesn’t fight over nonsense … hug each other every day. Eat dinner together … live your lives to the fullest. Stay positive and patient. God rewards those who are patient.”
Sotloff seems to have a premonition of his impending death and wrote, “If we’re not together again, perhaps God will be merciful enough to reunite us in Heaven.”
Sotloff was the second American journalist killed by ISIS in recent weeks. A video released on Aug. 19 showed the beheading of reporter James Foley.