9:26 pm : 25.Jul.2014

US Gurdwara shooting victims remembered at vigils

US Gurudwara 3 Six Sikh worshippers who fell to a gunman's bullets at a Wisconsin gurdwara are being remembered across the nation with a series of vigils from coast to coast.

 

The Sikh American community has called for a national moment of silence Sunday. A posting on the Sikh American Legal Defence and Education Fund's website asked for observances at churches, mosques, synagogues and other places of worship.

 

The community hopes such a gesture "will send the message of blessings for all, and that we stand united against hate and intolerance and as part of a common humanity", it said.

 

The victims were identified by police as a woman Paramjit Kaur, 41, and five men -- gurdwara president Satwant Singh Kaleka, 65; Sita Singh, 41; Ranjit Singh, 49; Prakash Singh, 39, and Suveg Singh, 84.

 

A wake and visitation are scheduled for Friday morning at a nearby high school gymnasium, according to an online posting by the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin.

 

Hundreds attended a memorial for the victims at a Sikh centre in the town of Brookfield Wisconsin, Monday, with the line of supporters overflowing outside the temple, CNN Milwaukee affiliate WTMJ reported.

 

Oak Creek's Sikh community is asking all who want to express sympathy and solidarity to donate food to their local food pantry and flowers to their own places of worship.

 

Their message on the city's website says, "If you are moved to volunteer, please donate your time and talent in your own community."

 

The Rev. Paul Armstrong of Oak Creek Community United Methodist Church, site of a Monday evening prayer vigil, said the diverse array of faiths in the community have an opportunity to further deepen bonds.

 

In New York, Joe Crowley, a Democratic leader on Sikh-American issues in the US Congress, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and State Senator Michael Gianaris, joined members of New York City's Sikh community to denounce the tragic shooting and to express solidarity with the Sikh community.

 

In April, Crowley led a letter signed by 93 members of Congress urging the FBI to document and quantify the commission of hate crimes against Sikh-Americans.

 

By Arun Kumar Washington, Aug 8 (Agency)

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