'I just hope that he is here soon. It's definitely hard for all of us'

'I just hope that he is here soon. It's definitely hard for all of us'

COTTAGE GROVE, Ore. -- It has been 100 days since a former Cottage Grove man was detained in Iran.

Josh Fattal and two other Americans are being held in an Iranian jail. On Sunday, Fattal's friends joined people on five other continents and held a vigil for the hikers' safe return.

A group of Fattal's supporters filled a small square in the town of Cottage Grove. Fattal's friends said, despite the small size of this local gathering, the power of their voices combined should not be underestimated.

"You add the sum total of all the vigils that are happening over the world today, and that amounts to a major significance," said friend Tao Orion.

Fattal didn't grow up in Cottage Grove. He spent three years in the area working for Approvecho Research Center. Over those three years, his friends said he made a huge impact in Cottage Grove.
"He was like the vision," said Fattal's friend Abel Kloster. "He was the visionary."

The impact could be seen and felt at Sunday's vigil.

"He has a really powerful, internal fire and strength," Kloster said.

Friends wrote letters. They feasted. More importantly, they came together.

"Josh has always been a person that brings people together," Kloster said. "Even in his absence he continues to do that."

It's a significance that friends hope will help bring the hikers home.

"I just hope that he is here soon," Kloster said. "It's definitely hard for all of us."