MALDEN, MASS., MAY 27 -- Freed hostage Frank Reed's joyous reunion today with his 91-year-old mother was tempered with an urgent plea for the speedy release of the six Americans still held captive.
"They aren't well," he implored after arriving at Boston's Logan International Airport. "They are sick. I promise you they are sick. Let us not forget them."
Reed, who has been undergoing medical tests at Andrews Air Force Base, rejoined his mother for the first time in eight years in a tearful airport reunion before they met with reporters.
"He said to me, 'You're a great mother.' We shed tears of joy," said Leota Sprague, who was too weak to join her son earlier.
The Reed family -- including his wife, Fahima, and 9-year-old son, Tarek -- traveled by motorcade to his daughter's house in this suburb just north of Boston, where cheering neighbors and 100 yellow ribbons awaited the hometown celebrity. The suburb of 56,000 planned a parade for Reed on Tuesday.
Reed, 57, was released April 30 after 44 months in captivity in Lebanon. He was home for a brief Memorial Day break but was scheduled to return Wednesday to the Malcolm Grow Medical Center at Andrews.
While he declined to give specifics on his condition, Reed spoke out on behalf of the other hostages he said were in ill health.
His comments contradicted those he made at a Washington news conference May 6, when he told reporters the American hostages "look physically wonderful."
"Terry Anderson is not well," he said of the longest held of the hostages. Anderson, chief Middle East correspondent for the Associated Press, is in his sixth year of captivity.
"Thomas Sutherland is not well," added Reed, who last saw the hostages more than a year ago.
Reed's spokesman and attorney, Bob Woolf, deflected further questions about the hostages' conditions and the U.S. government's attempts to secure their freedom.
"This weekend we are memorializing the dead that fought for our country," said Reed, who was flanked by family members at the airport news conference. "Let us hope that one day we don't have to have a day to memorialize the
hostages that are dead or will
The other Americans still held hostage are Joseph James Cicippio, 59, who was acting comptroller at the American University in Beirut; Edward Austin Tracy, 59, a West Beirut resident; Alann Steen, 51, a communications instructor at Beirut University College; and Jesse Jonathan Turner, 42, a professor of mathematics and computer science at Beirut University College.
A banner hanging in front of the home of Reed's daughter, Marilyn Langston, read, "Free at Last -- Frank Reed, April 30, 1990." Reed has two grown daughters from a previous marriage.
Langston said her father had not been in Malden, where he grew up, since he made a week-long visit in March 1982.
She said the visit would mark the first time her father had ever seen his granddaughter -- her 6-year-old daughter, Stacy -- and only the second time he had seen her 8-year-old son, Nathan.
Reed, who has gained 18 pounds since returning to the United States, has been playing golf and dreaming of the lobster dinner he was planning to enjoy Sunday night with family members in Malden.
Reed was head of the private Lebanese International School when he was snatched from his car by gunmen near the Beirut Airport in 1986.
He was freed eight days after another American hostage, Robert Polhill, was released. Polhill remains hospitalized, undergoing treatment for cancer.
They were the first Americans to be freed in 3 1/2 years.