The parents of beheaded American journalist James Foley went “On The Record” tonight in part one of an exclusive interview with Greta Van Susteren.

Diane and John Foley described James as a man who could light up a room, and who was filled with courage, compassion and adventure.

“The more suffering he saw, the bigger his heart grew,” Diane said, explaining that James became compelled to make a difference, from partaking in Teach for America to becoming a journalist.

John told Van Susteren of how his son helped raise money for an ambulance in Syria.

“He wanted to be part of the solution, not just describing the problem. He was a humanitarian as well as a journalist or videographer.”

John and Diane also discussed their mulling of ransom in order to bring their son home.

“We had no other alternatives,” John said of a possible ransom payment. “We were told that we might be prosecuted. Big deal. I’d rather be in a prison here than my son being in a prison over there. Nobody’s ever been prosecuted for doing that. We were under a great deal of duress and at that point we really had no misgivings. If that was the only avenue open to us, we were going to take it.”

Diane said that they never had any idea what was being done in an effort to bring James home.

“I just think we needed a little more information and a little more trust,” John said. “We felt like outsiders asking favors.”

“I realize Jim wasn’t an ‘important’ American […] to me, he was the best of America, but he was not, you know, a celebrity, he did not work for any big networks […] but I would hope that all Americans – particularly Americans of courage and compassion, the best of who we are as Americans – would be of value, in the sense that I hope our government will work with us […] we don’t want any American family to go through what the Sotloffs and we have,” Diane said.

Diane said that her son believed until the end that his government would get him home and that she did what she could to facilitate that.

“As a frantic mother, I did my best. Not enough, but I did my best, I just tried, I tried to be as annoying as I could so they wouldn’t forget him, I just tried, but I failed, and we didn’t get the attention until the very end, and then it was too late,” Diane said.

“We don’t want to blame our government. They’re not the enemy. ISIS is the enemy, what we need to try to do is figure out some better way so that our kids could be released with the Europeans. That’s all we want. We want the kids home,” John said.

Later in the interview, Diane revealed how she and her husband found out of their son’s beheading.

“It was the news […] that’s how we found out, Greta,” she said.

Van Susteren asked if they have watched the video.

“Not all of it,” Diane said. “We don’t wanna see that. That’s their propaganda […] we want to remember how Jim lived, Greta. Jim was just a beautiful young man. He was the best of America.”

Watch parts one and two below to hear more of the interview and to learn about the James Foley Legacy Fund. Tune in for more of the interview with Diane and John Foley on Monday at 7p ET.


More on James Foley from Fox News:

Hometown Remembers Journalist James Foley in Special Mass

Source: London Rapper a Leading Suspect in Foley Execution

Friend of James Foley, Steven Sotloff: ‘They Shouldn’t Be Forgotten’