UPDATE: Sikh prayer & candlelight vigil in Middleton - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Sikh prayer & candlelight vigil in Middleton


MIDDLETON (WKOW) -- It's another somber night for the Sikh community, as more than 50 people gathered at a temple in Middleton for a special service and candlelight vigil.

The Sikh Society of Wisconsin Madison held a night of prayer for the victims of the Oak Creek temple shooting. It was a chance to mourn and a hope to move on from the tragedy together.

"When it happens it hits you so hard but as time goes by it does heal people, and hopefully with God's will it will be a little faster healing, so that's why we are trying to pray today for these lost souls," says Surinder Pangli, a board member at the Sikh Society of Wisconsin Madison.

It's a tough time for a religious community that's built on peaceful ideals, suffering from a violent attack, but so far many in Wisconsin have been supportive.

"We draw strength from diversity in our community and it's important that we reinforce that and show that. We may not all look the same, we may not all worship the same, but we're all part of the same community," says Dane County Executive Joe Parisi, who attended the vigil Tuesday night.

The Sikhs say events like these are a chance to show the public who they are.

"Nobody's angry. We just want to teach people what we're about. Sikhism is all about tolerance, and I feel like through these kinds of events and welcoming people here, you know we can just show people who we are because then people won't fear what they don't know," says Bimal Pangli, from Middleton.

The group hosted a vigil after the prayer service, spelling out the words "GURU RAKHA" in candles. It's phrase they believe couldn't be more fitting for their situation, meaning"God is my protector".

"The people are in deep sadness at the time at this moment. When you share these moments the sorrow will come down," says Tarnam Dhillon, a board member.

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