Oak Creek (Wisconsin), Aug 10 (Agency)
As the Sikh gurdwara where six worshippers were killed reopened after being swept, scrubbed and painted, a lone bullet hole was left unrepaired as a grim reminder of Sunday's rampage.
The bullet hole in a metal frame of the door leading to the main prayer area, where the only female victim, 41-year-old Paramjit Kaur, was killed, won't be repaired, members said as investigators allowed them back inside Thursday.
But elsewhere, the congregation was busy polishing the tile floors, touching up patched drywall and replacing carpet, using donated supplies; and reopening the dining hall, where the Sikhs run an open kitchen for the community, according to CNN and local reports.
Several members wept as they walked in, while others embraced emotionally.
"It takes a toll on you, thinking about the lives that were lost, when you realise our temple will never be the same again," said Kanwardeep Singh Kaleka, a nephew of Satwant Singh Kaleka, the gurdwara president who died fighting the gunman to protect his congregation.
Kaleka told CNN it was hard coming back to the gurdwara, but members returned as soon as police allowed them, "so we can start off here tomorrow for those six people and really for the future of the world community."
Civil rights leader Jesse Jackson, who visited the gurdwara Thursday, warned more massacres will come unless the United States tightens up its gun laws.
"It's easy to be polite to say 'We're so sorry this happened' and give the same speech at the next killing a month from now," Jackson said. "There's some point where move from politeness to a change in policy."
A CNN/ORC International poll released Thursday indicates that the public remains divided on gun laws. Those who support major restrictions or a complete ban have remained in the 48 percent-to-50 percent range for more than a decade.