Archive for Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Sikhs to host vigil in Shawnee for shooting victims

August 7, 2012, 1:15 p.m.

Updated: August 8, 2012, 12:00 a.m.

Members of the local Sikh community will take part in a candlelight vigil Friday for the victims of an Aug. 5 shooting at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis., that left seven dead and three critically wounded.

The vigil will take place at 8:45 p.m. at the Midwest Sikh Gurudwara in Shawnee.

During the vigil, local members of the faith will mourn the loss of their fellow Sikh members and pray for the recovery of those injured, including a police officer who was shot several times after responding to the Oak Creek temple.

The attack was mounted by Wade Michael Page, a 40-year-old Army veteran, during Sunday services at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek. He died in a shootout with police outside the temple. Authorities are still trying to determine the motive behind the shooting spree — the latest of several violent, post 9/11 incidents involving U.S. Sikhs, who are often confused with Muslims.

“Like countless other minority communities, Sikhs have fought through various forms of discrimination, have achieved success in different industries, and have become productive contributors to American society,” representatives of the Midwest Sikh Gurudwara said in a statement. “The Sikh experience in the U.S. is quintessentially American, and as a society we have grown together. We each have our own experiences, yet we all share a similar story of struggle, sacrifice and success.”

The Sikh community requests cards, donations and gifts for the victims of the Oak Creek shooting. They may be dropped off or mailed to the Midwest Sikh Gurudwara, 6834 Pflumm Road, Shawnee, KS 66216.

Members of the local Sikh community will be taking all donated items to Oak Creek on Aug. 12.

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