Typically in this column I pull back the curtain on the front page and talk about the reasoning behind our headlines, but I don't want to do that today.
I could tell you about our efforts to cover our city's tragedy.
I could tell you about the reporters, photographers and editors who have pulled 15-hour shifts since last Thursday.
I could tell you about how journalists came in from vacation to help because they knew the community needed as much information as possible.
I could tell you about the editor who could barely pitch the next day's story budget because she was holding back tears.
I could explain why we decided to write about the shooter and run his photo.
But now isn't the time.
Many journalists at the Times Free Press have lived in Chattanooga their whole lives. Many have families who have served in the military and who are proud of our country's service members and deeply hurt by this attack on institutions that make us feel safe.
Others had come to this paper and fallen in love with the Scenic City and never moved on. They don't want to see this young man's terrible actions overshadow the great progress this city has made in so many areas. They don't want to see this man's heinous crime divide us.
We love this city; we live and work here. And we are grieving as you are grieving.
All I can say is that we are here to tell the city's story. We are here to write about the lives that were cut far too
short, to honor the families and their memories. We are here to write about the heroism of that day and the extraordinary effort of regular people who cared deeply for these strangers. We are here to explain why this happened and to examine whether it could have been prevented.
And we will be here long after the national media has left.
We will be the ones to tell the story of how Chattanooga overcame this unthinkable day, how we picked up the pieces and found a way to heal.
So keep reading. We are in this together.
Alison Gerber is editor of the Chattanooga Times Free Press. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6408 and @aligerb.