Capital Gazette staff to march in July 4 parade: 'We are reluctant symbols'

Capital Gazette staff to march in July 4 parade: 'We are reluctant symbols'
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The staff of the The Capital Gazette of Annapolis, Md., will march in the city's July 4 parade less than a week after a gunman opened fire on the newsroom, killing five employees.

The Capital Gazette announced in an editorial on Wednesday that instead of reporting on the annual parade — as is customary — its staff will be among those marching.

"You’ll recognize us from our vaguely lost expressions. We don’t think we have a banner or T-shirts, although we’re looking around. We might have a few hats," the editorial reads. 

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"It will be unusual for us to walk together in the same rough direction if we’re being totally honest here. The news staff of The Capital feels out of place being part of the event rather than on the sidelines taking notes or producing video."

The announcement comes days after a gunman killed five reporters, editors and newsroom business staff, injuring others. The suspected shooter, identified as Jarrod Ramos, 38, was taken into custody shortly after the attack. He has been charged with five counts of first-degree murder.

The newspaper said Wednesday that its participation in the parade is not intended to make a political statement.

"Here’s why we’ve decided to do this: for you," the newspaper staff wrote. "We are reluctant symbols at the moment, maybe forever."

"We will not be there for those who are mad at the president or those who are mad at people who are angry with the president," the editorial continues. "Even those in the world of journalism who have offered a breathtakingly welcome wave of support for us aren’t the reason we’ll walk."

"We’ll be on West Street and Main Street because we want our readers and our community to see that we believe things will, eventually, be OK again. Eventually."

The parade is set to begin at 6:30 p.m.