Freed journalist Curtis back in the U.S.

curtis

(CNN) — After almost two years in captivity, Peter Theo Curtis is finally home.

The American writer flew Tuesday from Tel Aviv, Israel, to the United States — stopping first in Newark, New Jersey, before reuniting with his mother in Boston, his family said in a news release.

“I have been so touched and moved, beyond all words, by the people who have come up to me today — strangers on the airplane, the flight attendants and, most of all, my family to say welcome home,” Curtis said.

The reunion meant an end to a dramatic ordeal for Curtis, who was held by Islamist rebels in Syria.

His mother, Nancy, said she was “overwhelmed with relief” now that he was back in the United States.

But, given the recent beheading of American journalist James Foley — who was also being by militants in Syria — she couldn’t bring herself to celebrate.

“I don’t think anybody’s in the mood of celebration. You know, we’re relieved,” Curtis earlier told CNN outside her home in Cambridge, Massachusetts. “But after the events of the last week and knowing those other children of my friends are in danger, you know, I have very conflicted emotions. I’ve come to know the other families as well, and these kids have a lot in common.”