Family of Beheaded American Vet Peter Kassig Releases Emotional Statement About His Death

| NOV 17, 2014 | 2:14 PM

Over the weekend, reports broke out of a new video of ISIS' Jihadi John beheading an American.

The terrorist group claimed that the victim was captive aid worker and Ranger veteran Peter Kassig. His family first responded with this statement:

Hours later, the confirmation came.

After Kassig's death was confirmed, his family stated:

“We are heartbroken to learn that our son, Abdul-Rahman Peter Kassig, has lost his life as a result of his love for the Syrian people and his desire to ease their suffering. Our heart also goes out to the families of the Syrians who lost their lives, along with our son.

“Fed by a strong desire to use his life to save the lives of others, Abdul-Rahman was drawn to the camps that are filled with displaced families and to understaffed hospitals inside Syria. We know he found his home amongst the Syrian people, and he hurt when they were hurting.

“As he wrote in March 2012, in a letter announcing he was taking a leave of absence from Butler University to serve the Syrian people:

‘Here, in this land, I have found my calling. … I do not know much. Every day that I am here I have more questions and less answers, but what I do know is that I have a chance to do something here, to take a stand. To make a difference.’

“We are incredibly proud of our son for living his life according to his humanitarian calling. We will work every day to keep his legacy alive as best we can.

“We remain heartbroken, also, for the families of the other captives who did not make it home safely. The families of James Foley, Steven Sotloff, David Haines, and Alan Henning remain in our daily thoughts and prayers, and we pray for the safe return of all remaining captives held by all sides of the Syrian civil war.

“We remain eternally grateful for the many, many words of support and prayers from all over the world on our son’s behalf. We ask people to continue to pray for the safe return of all captives being held unjustly and all people being oppressed around the world, and especially for the people of Syria, a land our son loved.”

They had a special request for the media:

Many observed what may have been Peter Kassig's final act of courage:

As well as his compassion:

And his background, which the captors discovered early on:

As ISIS continues to threaten U.S. citizens, it doesn't look like they plan to ease up any time soon. While our thoughts and prayers are with the Kassig family and we wish them peace, we must push forward to ensure this heinous act doesn't happen again.

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