Candlelight Vigil Held at B.U. for Wisconsin Temple Shooting Victims
The local Sikh community held a candlelight Vigil at the Marsh Chapel at Boston University in honor of those killed and injured in the shooting of a Sikh temple in Oak Creek Wisconsin.
Members of the local Sikh community joined the Sikh Association at Boston University (SABU) on Wednesday evening for a vigil at Boston University's Marsh Chapel.
The vigil honored those who were killed or injured in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, on Sunday, August 6, when white supremacist Wade Michael Page opened fire inside the gurudwara (temple), killing six people and injuring three others. Page was also killed.
See here for more about the initial response to the incident in the Somerville and Medford Sikh community.
Wednesday evening's vigil began with prayer accompanied by music (see video).
Br. Larry Whitney of Marsh Chapel, Harleen Gerwal, a senior at B.U. and the Secretary of SABU, Gurteg Singh, President of SABU, Laura Everett, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Council of Churches and members of the Islamic Interfaith Council spoke to the full chapel.
"This tragedy is a moment to teach people that it is not OK to hate," Gurteg Singh said.
A presentation on what Sikhism is followed the speeches. Sikhism began in what is now Northern India and Pakistan in the 16th Century. Sikhism is the world's fifth largest religion, with an estimated 27 million followers worldwide. Roughly half a million Sikhs live in the United States. They champion equality regardless of race, color or gender as well as honest labor and selflessness to humanity.
The crowd went outside of the chapel to hold a candle-lit moment of silence and prayer for the wounded and dead in Wisconsin. A meal was provided by the guruwara afterwards.
"After hearing about this tragedy, I came out with this intense feeling of a need for solidarity," Martha Grey of Brookline said. "We as a nation must curtail hatred." Grey said that she had found out about this vigil through an email from the Jewish Community Relations.