Our Say: Today, we're walking in the Fourth of July parade to help Annapolis heal

Normally, we cover the Fourth of July parade in Annapolis. Generations of our young reporters have learned that this is the core of what a community newspaper such as The Capital does.

Baton twirlers and jazzercise classes stepping in unison are suddenly news. Four guys around a table pretending to be 18th-century revolutionaries make for a great photo.

Yes, even the politicians waving and handing out candy are worth including in the story. As the late Ed Casey, a longtime executive editor of The Capital, would have said: “Names and faces, names and faces.”

Today, though, we’ll be among those faces. We are going to be part of the parade.

Members of our staff will walk — the notion of journalists and ad reps marching is just too silly to bear — in the Annapolis Independence Day parade down West Street and Main Street to City Dock.

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. 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.

Here’s why we’ve decided to do this: for you.

We are reluctant symbols at the moment, maybe forever.

Carl Jung, the 20th-century pioneer of psychiatry, saw symbols as springing from our collective unconscious, something we all agree on without realizing. They are the psychic counterpart of instinct.

Jung was probably not entirely right. Modern America has demonstrated we can’t agree on the time of day, let alone on the meaning of a symbol as powerful as a newspaper targeted for death because of something one of its writers printed.

So before someone else paints a reason to define our participation, we’d like to explain.

We’re hurting, but we know Annapolis and Anne Arundel County are, too. It’s so difficult to grasp that our community was the site of a mass shooting; that Annapolis has joined the names synonymous with abhorrent violence.

On Independence Day, we’re not taking part in the parade because we stand for some brand of political thought or calls for gun control or arguments against. 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. 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.

Have a glorious Fourth.

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