Sunday service resumes at Oak Creek temple - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Sunday service resumes at Oak Creek temple


OAK CREEK (WKOW) -- Services resumed at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin on Sunday - exactly one week after a gunman killed six people during a prayer service.

They began with a ceremony of rebirth. It's a traditional Sikh ceremony of cleansing that usually happens once a year - in April - to signify a fresh start. But if this community ever needed a fresh start, they needed one now, one week after a temple tragedy.

The Sikhs remembered those killed, including the temple president Satwant Singh Kaleka. His son, Amardeep Kaleka spoke about what happened on Sunday.

"A coward tried to come in and break ties with humanity -- cause a race war, cause some sort of angst amongst people. But what ended up happening was the heroism of six people or eight people or ten people and the community around it-- Oak Creek, Wisconsin the national and international community -- that heroism actually united people," says Kaleka.

Inside the temple, a single bullet hole remains as a reminder of the tragedy that brought people of all ages from across the world to Sunday's service.

"As a country, we have to deal with the underlying issue here, which is the hate and intolerance which leads to these fringe groups doing things like this," says Narinder Singh, chairman of the Sikh Coalition board.

"We're working to pick up the pieces and to make our community whole and so a lot of what kids are focusing on is what they can do to help us in what we need to do today and tomorrow," says Kiranjeet Kaur, a youth member.

The Sikhs say the next step is educating future generations. Leaders have already been in touch with the superintendent at the Oak Creek school district to try to teach more about the Sikh culture in the schools.

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