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Press On: Honoring the victims of the Capital Gazette

Posted at 11:19 PM, Jun 28, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-01 09:46:28-04

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — A display of Annapolis Strong that lasted all day culminated with a special ceremony at the Maryland Hall.

The tears have turned to frustration for many of the loved ones and co-workers over what hasn’t been done to prevent something like this from happening again. This community rallied behind its paper on the day, now recognized as Freedom of the Press Day, they were here to honor them.

John McNamara’s wife of 30 years Andrea Chamblee is going to finish his book. She said he wooed her everyday.

“He promised to grow old with me,” she said. “His promises were broken not just by the man who pulled the trigger, but by politicians who let dangerous people like that man get firearms and ammunition.”

Gerald Fischman was remembered as a poet by Capital Gazette Editor Rick Hutzell.

“A conversation with Gerald was an interesting experience,” Hutzell said. “You did not know what reference he was going to pull from. Unlike me, he could quote Shakespeare accurately.”

Maria Hiaasen’s husband died on her birthday. Rob made it special every year, including the morning he was killed. Her last memory was him singing and dancing and offering to open her presents before he left for work.

“Naturally I said later, we’re going to have more time,” Hiaasen said. “That is not what happened.”

Rebecca Smith’s boss Marty Padden said she was an ambitious member of the sales team and was proud to work for the greater good.

“Her love for her colleagues and her colleagues love for her,” Padden said. “It showed for her love for her family. It showed in her sense of humor.”

Wendi Winters’ daughter, Summerleigh Geimer, said she was a devoted mother whose legacy is carried on by her foundation. She said she’s doing her best to fill in her size nine shoes, but she’s only an eight-and-a -half.

“They are much too big, but I know that if the roles were reversed my mom would be relentless to bring justice to this matter. She wouldn’t even bother trying to put on my shoes. She would throw them in her massive black purse and carry them with her and do what she always did she would show up,” Geimer said.

When five lives were taken inside the Capital Gazette one year ago it sent a shockwave of sadness. The pain hasn’t left, but their words and what they stood for lived on a year later.