Others have spoken so eloquently about our lost friends, I’ve struggled to find the right words.
I could tell you that Rob Hiaasen would have been far better suited than I am to listen, console and maybe even advise those left behind.
Or I could describe Gerald Fischman as a thoughtful, quiet man who would have written so much more effectively of our grief and gratitude.
The loss of Wendi Winters has been so wonderfully lamented, what difference does it make if I tell you that she was endearingly stumped by the technology of our work? She powered through it, writing more than anyone else.
John McNamara wore a cynic’s cloak to hide the guy inside, a man who deeply loved his work, his wife and his sports.
I worry about Rebecca Smith, an engaging, happy woman who had just entered our lives. Her loss may not get an equal measure of attention because we didn’t hear her voice through our pages.
I’ve written down the final words I heard from each of my lost family, killed June 28 in the act of incomprehensible rage that nearly destroyed us. I’ve decided to keep them to myself, precious connections to an existence now on the other side of an unscalable barrier.
Instead, as newsrooms worldwide observe a moment of silence at 2:33 p.m. today to honor the five staff members of The Capital killed in an act of violence, I want to tell you about those who must now move on.
Much has been made of our decision to publish the day after the murders. It never entered my mind that we wouldn’t, but it wouldn’t have been possible without Jay Judge, my boss and brother through this. Mark Murphy, Erin Hardy and Greg Nucifora worked through tears to design a history-making edition that reported the names of their dead colleagues.
You may have heard of the trio who reported on the tragedy from a pickup truck parked across the street, Chase Cook, Joshua McKerrow and E.B. Furgurson III — known by Chase's tweet as the men who told the world they would “put out the damn paper.”
They couldn’t have done it without Thalia Jaurez, a staff member on loan from our newsroom to Baltimore, who kept our website moving through it all.
The survivors of that horrible day in our Annapolis newsroom have gathered unwelcome fame through courageous willingness to share their fear, loss and outrage — Selene San Felice, Rachael Pacella, Paul W. Gillespie, Anthony Messenger and Phil Davis. Janel Cooley hasn't been ready to tell her story.
Those who were not in the office that day are struggling to deal with their own grief.
Sports Editor David Broughton returned from a rare few days off to find his world upended, and quietly focused on his fraternity of sports writers — Bill Wagner, Bob Hough, Ryan Morse, Mike Morea, Brian Burden, John Evans and Jack Chavez.
Danielle Ohl and Jimmy DeButts came rushing back from beaches like me to desperately seek a way to help.
None but a few know that Brian Compere, another staffer at The Sun, finished Rachael’s story on I-Day at the Naval Academy after her work was interrupted by gunfire. Photo Editor Jeff Bill and the photo team at The Sun have worked tirelessly to make sure photographers were in place and we were getting out the best images and video fast.
Ad manager Marty Padden and his team, Kim Welty, Dawn Baldwin, Eleni Stylianou, Josh Roeder and Christine Gorman were all out that afternoon. Now they have to focus on getting back to business.
The Capital alumni I am so lucky to work with as we limp to the next deadline includes some of the most talented people I know — Erin Cox, Pam Wood, Ulysses Munoz and Tim Prudente at The Sun, and Bing Huang at The Morning Call in Allentown, Pennsylvania. Steve Gunn, a former editor of this news organization and most recently of The Virginian-Pilot, can’t know how helpful our quiet conversation was.
I’ve been known to throw a sharp elbow to keep our small identity separate from our big sister in Baltimore, but right now I want to hold these names from The Sun tight: Rachel Mull, Talia Richman, Anne Tallent, Jim Joyner, Kalani Gordon, Colin Campbell, Doug Donovan, Ellen Fishel, Yvonne Wenger, Jessica Anderson, Andrea K. McDaniels, Jacques Kelley, Jean Marbella and so many more who have kept us on our feet.
Thanks to Publisher Trif Alatzas for being a quiet example of strength and leadership through this, and to tronc CEO Justin Dearborn and President Tim Knight for putting the company so solidly behind us and the families of Rebecca, John, Wendi, Gerald and Rob.
The list of people to whom I am indebted is long. Tim Thomas, Karen Denny, Gene Travaglene, JoAnne Schmidt and her crew. Alumni Eric Hartley, Elisha Sauers, Alex Mann and Ben Weathers each have come to the newsroom to help, and many, many more have done the same through email, calls and messages or during quiet embraces.
I don’t plan on giving any interviews other than a few in-house pieces. Maybe someday. Today, this is what I have to say.
We will continue to honor our dead. But we also will remember those who remain.
They were journalists. And so are we.
Rick Hutzell is the editor of Capital Gazette Communications. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @HutzellRick.