Nearly all of the members of Maryland’s congressional delegation signed a letter to President Biden on Thursday asking him to posthumously award the Presidential Medal of Freedom to the five people killed in the Capital Gazette newsroom shooting.
Wendi Winters, Rob Hiaasen, Gerald Fischman, John McNamara and Rebecca Smith were killed in 2018 when a gunman opened fire in the newspaper’s Annapolis, Md., office, the deadliest attack on journalists in American history.
“Though their memories have been honored in numerous ways since the attack, including through the forthcoming National Memorial to Fallen Journalists, we concur with their families and former colleagues that they deserve our Nation’s highest civilian honor,” the congressional delegation wrote in the letter.
The victims “who embodied and protected the First Amendment, deserve such an honor,” they continued.
The lawmakers noted that “animosity toward members of the press nationwide has only gotten worse” since the June 2018 attack.
“On January 6, 2021, the insurrectionists who stormed the U.S. Capitol Building threatened, attacked, and detained members of the media and gleefully destroyed their equipment,” the letter states. “This trend is incredibly corrosive to our democracy.”
This is the second time the Maryland congressional delegation asked a president to posthumously award the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Winters, who saved at least one life and potentially several others when she charged the armed gunman with a trash can and recycling bin.
Maryland Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D) and Sen. Ben Cardin (D) organized the first letter to President Trump — whic… (Read more)