Annapolis planning memorial to 5 slain in newspaper shooting

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — A fundraising campaign is being launched to build a memorial to honor the five people killed in a shooting at a Maryland newspaper.

Plans for the memorial that will also honor the First Amendment were discussed Thursday in the Annapolis City Council chambers. Architect Jay Graham of Moody Graham outlined several concepts proposed by a team at the architectural firm for consideration to honor the five Capital Gazette employees.

“The team explored various ways in which the community can engage with and experience the memorial and how the site can offer space for contemplation, contemplating the loss of beloved members of the newspaper,” Graham said.

One proposal would contain five lit pillars that represent the lives lost, each dedicated to a victim. A boardwalk would wind through a garden where the pillars can be viewed, and plaque would honor freedom of the press.

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A proposal called “Lost Copy” includes a blank page to recognize the absence of the victims and lost news copy.

“In providing a blank page to the community, we honor the legacy of those who devoted themselves to the pen,” Graham said. “And while the stone monument will preserve their memory, the blank page acknowledges the gravity of their absence.”

Carl Snowden, chairman of an Annapolis-based committee helping to raise money, says plans call for putting the different memorial ideas on a website and letting people vote for their preferences.

“We’re going to leave it now to the citizens, the readers of The Baltimore Sun, The Capital, as well as other media outlets, to make the final decision,” said Snowden, who chairs the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Committee, which has led efforts to build other monuments in Annapolis, including a monument honoring people who attended the March on Washington in 1963.

Snowden estimated the cost of a memorial would be between $150,000 and $300,000, depending on the one selected. He said about $10,000 already has been raised.

Renee Mutchnik, a spokeswoman for the Baltimore Sun Media Group, which owns The Capital, thanked the community of Annapolis for its support since the June 28 attack. The man charged with killing them had a history of harassing the newspaper’s journalists. Gerald Fischman, Rob Hiaasen, John McNamara, Wendi Winters and Rebecca Smith were killed.

Earlier this month, the University of Maryland’s journalism school dedicated a memorial to the victims on the same day the newspaper’s staff was included by Time magazine among its 2018 Person of the Year honorees.

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