A new sign outside the Newseum is providing hope for the family of Austin Tice, the only American journalist held captive in Syria.
The former Georgetown Law student and Marine Corps veteran has been missing for 4 years now.
Today, his family hopes they are one step closer thanks to a banner now hanging outside the Newseum.
When Debra is asked about her son, Austin, this is her reaction: “Oh my goodness, don’t get me started!”
But when she sees the sign now outside the Newseum, the sign she worked so hard to get, it’s not as easy for her to explain how she feels. “There are mixed feelings because I’ve been asking for it but I hate that we still need it,” says Tice.
Wednesday is day number 1,542 that Austin Tice has been held captive in Syria. He’s a Houston native, a Marine Corps veteran and a former student at Georgetown Law. Just before graduation though, Tice went to Syria as a freelance journalist. That was in August of 2012, the last time his family talked to him.
“There’s one proof-of-life video that was released in September of 2012 that tells us that Austin is alive and we count on that,” says Tice.
The Tice family is also counting on the help of the Newseum, Reporters Without Borders and President Obama, as well as Austin’s captors. “We met with President Obama in his office in July and he assured us he is doing all he can, and we believe him,” says Tice. “It’s Austin’s captors that need to reach out and let us know how we can resolve this.”
Debra hopes the sign outside the Newseum will help get the attention needed to bring Austin home. She says she has no doubt he’s alive and she knows exactly what she’ll do when they are finally reunited. “He loves to lift mom off the ground, he thinks that’s really funny,” says Tice. “So I guess I’ll have my feet literally off the ground!”
Until Austin is home, the banner will remain in a place, that’s significance is no coincidence: Along Pennsylvania Avenue.
Before Austin’s disappearance, he often reported for the Washington Post.