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Our family would like to express its deepest gratitude

The first indicator of the nature of today's Loney family news conference was the lady who showed up early at the Holiday Inn ballroom. She proceeded to the front of the room and quietly placed three Kleenex boxes behind the podium.
LoneyDad

The first indicator of the nature of today's Loney family news conference was the lady who showed up early at the Holiday Inn ballroom.

She proceeded to the front of the room and quietly placed three Kleenex boxes behind the podium.

Jim's mother Claudette and father Patrick (shown) attended, but did not speak.

They sat to the side of the platform as other family members spoke, with Patrick Loney repeatedly breaking down in grief.

The following is the statement made by the Loney family to the national media:

********************* Good Morning,

Our family would like to express its deepest gratitude for the tremendous support we have received from every corner of the world and from people of all faiths, especially the Muslim community.

We are truly touched and encouraged by the outpouring of love and kind words from family and friends, and hearing all the wonderful stories about Jim.

We would like to thank everyone who has come forward expressing their support, each in their own way.

We also realize that there are many of you who simply do not know what to say or do, and we know your thoughts are with us.

We know that our James would be overwhelmed by the grassroots support that he is receiving.

We are too.

We have come to a fuller understanding of the effect that his humanitarian work for peace has in the world.

We would like to express our gratitude to members of the Muslim community for their compassion and their earnest call for the release of the four captives.

Those voices are standing in solidarity with Christian Peacemaker Teams, who are endeavoring to assist the people of Iraq.

We are grateful that Jim appeared well cared for in the last videotape, and we pray that will continue.

We express our gratitude to the Christian Peacemaker Team-mates of Jim remaining in Baghdad who are working tirelessly under difficult circumstances for his release while continuing their work in support of the human rights of all Iraqis.

We also want to thank:

Grassroots peace activists, like James, from across the world, who continue to struggle to create a society in which all people can live peacefully.

Members of the media for being so respectful in their representation of James and his life's work.

The Canadian government for their assistance.

And of course, the countless people working diligently to secure Jim's release.

At this time we'd like to express our compassion and support for all families who are facing similar circumstances, especially the Iraqi families James sought to help.

In particular, we extend our thoughts and prayers to the families of Harmeet Sooden, Tom Fox, and Norman Kember.

We want everyone to know how much we love our son, brother, uncle, and friend.

We continue to hope and pray for his safe release so that he can return to us and continue his important work.

Please understand that we may not be able to answer all of your questions at this time.

********************


David Helwig

About the Author: David Helwig

David Helwig's journalism career spans seven decades beginning in the 1960s. His work has been recognized with national and international awards.
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