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Record Numbers Join Memorial Service for Wisconsin Sikh Temple Tragedy at Bridgewater, NJ Gurudwara

Wisconsin Shooting Remembrance Event to be held on Sunday, August 12th

Submitted by: Garden State Sikh Association

Categories: Community Development, Human Rights

Posted: Aug 09, 2012 – 09:56 AM EST


BRIDGEWATER, N.J., Aug. 09 /CSRwire/ - The purpose: to remember the victims, pray for their families and speedy recovery of the injured, and raise awareness about the Sikh community in Bridgewater and neighboring towns.

The attendance: Over 600 people – neighbors, religious and community leaders, political leaders and police officers – came to express condolences, offer support and confirm that we will grow stronger because of this tragedy.

The service started with prayers from the Sikh holy book, Guru Granth Sahib, which stresses the core message of Sikhism – that there is one God and all originated from that one God and are therefore equal. With more than 22 community leaders taking the podium with messages of grief, hope and harmony, the message was clear: Our community will grow stronger because of this tragedy. Congressman Rush Holt of NJ summarized it well:

"There is no place in the United States of America for such violence, for prejudice, for bias, for hate crimes."

Adding that he was an admirer of the Sikh religion, he said, "I want Americans to understand that there is much we can learn, as non-Sikhs, from the Sikhs in America."

Meanwhile, outside the Gurudwara – the Punjabi word for temple meaning literally, Our Guru's Door – people lighted candles to memorialize the victims and offered prayers for the speedy recovery of the injured and the bravery demonstrated by Wisconsin Police Officer Brian Murphy and President of the Wisconsin Gurudwara Satwant Singh Kaleka. Inside the Gurudwara, people signed cards.

In accordance with Sikh tradition, after the ceremony everyone headed to the Langar Hall, where they were served “langar” – vegetarian food prepared at the Gurudwara by volunteers.

The night ended on a somber yet encouraging note. The overwhelming number of people attending the service highlighted the true diversity of America and that we are indeed one in fighting hate and violence.

Wisconsin Shooting Remembrance Event on Sunday, August 12th

Now, on the one-week anniversary of the Oak Creek, Wisconsin Sikh temple shooting, the Sikh-American community of your city will be holding a remembrance event in honor of the victims of the tragedy.

Date: Sunday, August 8, 2012
Time: 10:30 AM EST
Location: Your Gurudwara [Find your nearest Gurudwara]

This local remembrance event is part of a national, youth-led movement to unify Sikh temples across the country in sending a collective, public message in the aftermath of the August 5th violence. Dozens of gurudwaras around the United States will be singing a particularly poignant religious hymn promptly at 10:30 AM local time, approximately the time the Wisconsin shooting occurred a week before. The hymn—Jis Da Sahib Dadha Hoye, Tis No Maar Na Saakai Koye—embodies the unrelenting resolve and strength of the Sikh-American community.

This national day of hope and healing will represent the community’s commitment to love and peace and intent to continue to be an integral part of the fabric of American society. This will be a gathering to reflect on the tragedy, show support for the victims, and demonstrate that all Americans stand united against hate.

Representatives from the local Sikh-American community will be available throughout the event to respond to interview requests. English translations of the religious hymn will be distributed before the event, but are also available by contacting the organizers listed below.

For more information about Bridgewater Gurudwara or to learn more about Sikhism, please contact CJ Singh.

National Contacts:
Harmann Singh
(917) 664-0396

Jaywin Singh
(214) 517-1322

Manjot Singh
(661) 310-8621

For more information, please contact:


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