In solidarity with our sister and brother journalists at the Annapolis Capital Gazette newspaper, five of whom were murdered in a rampage last Thursday, we reprint excerpts from the editorial they ran in their Sunday, July 1 edition:
“Thank you. Thank you for the outpouring of sympathy for the terrible tragedy that took place Thursday in our Annapolis office.
“We will never forget Rob Hiaasen, Gerald Fischman, Wendi Winters, John McNamara or Rebecca Smith, our five co-workers who were gunned down in a senseless attack.
“But we also will always remember the bells of St. Anne’s ringing as members of our staff — past and present — walked down Main Street surrounded by thousands who turned out to support us in a march to City Dock.
“We always will remember the singing on a grassy knoll across from our office in a second vigil, little more than a day after five acts of murderous rage changed our lives forever.
“Thank you for the cards, the letters, the emails and the flowers. Thank you for the food, the text messages and the signs.
“The words of appreciation for our work and its importance to Annapolis and Anne Arundel County is a balm to our wounds. More than 800 people subscribed to our digital edition Friday as a show of support after the terror on Thursday afternoon.
“Thank you. Here’s what else we won’t forget: Death threats and emails from people we don’t know celebrating our loss, or the people who called for one of our reporters to get fired because she got angry and cursed on national television after witnessing her friends getting shot.
“We won’t forget being called an enemy of the people. No, we won’t forget that. Because exposing evil, shining light on wrongs and fighting injustice is what we do.
“We are more than just our questions and our writing and our headlines. We are journalists.
“Yes, we bring values and beliefs to our work. We believe in truth. We believe in speaking for those who don’t have the power to speak for themselves. We believe in questioning authority. We believe in reporting the news.
“Our community has rallied around us to show they understand who we are, and that we are not the enemy of the people. We are your neighbors, your friends. We are you.
“But every day, the staff of this news organization will report on the news of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County. We will never be the same as we were, now that Rebecca, Wendi, John, Gerald and Rob are gone.
“Someday we hope to be as good again. That’s all we can do. Until then, keep reading. We’ve only just begun.”