Oak Creek Sikh temple hosts emotional peace vigil - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Oak Creek Sikh temple hosts emotional peace vigil

Posted:

OAK CREEK (WKOW) -- For the fourth day in a row, the Oak Creek community focused on remembering the victims of the Sikh temple shooting.   

Monday marks one year since Wade Michael Page, a white supremacist, walked into the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin and began shooting, killing six temple members as they gathered for Sunday service.

Organizers estimate 1,000 people of all backgrounds and faiths came to the temple for a peace vigil Monday night. Family members of victims talked about their struggles to overcome their anger after the shooting driven by hate, and instead focus on their message of peace and unity.

"I was full of so much anger and [my brother] grabbed me and he said no you cannot do that," says Amardeep Kaleka, son of the temple president who was killed that night, seeking a change nationwide. "We in this country must come together to stand as leaders of this planet."

Kaleka called on the crowd to join in the peace vigil's theme: Uplift and Heal. He served as emcee of the event.

Kaleka was joined by family of other shooting victims, like Elvin Daniel. Daniel's sister Zina Haughton was shot and killed by her husband in the Brookfield salon shooting just a few weeks after the Sikh temple shooting.

"I share their pain their heartache and also know that we can do everything in our power to make sure that others don't have to suffer the same tragedy that we once went through," Daniel told the crowd.

The sister of a first grade teacher who was killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in December also spoke. Both asked for more widespread support of a change to federal gun laws-- to require background checks for gun purchases. The family members say stricter laws could have saved their loved ones and countless others.

Oak Creek leaders also spoke at the event, including police officials. Mayor Steve Scaffidi thanked his community for its solidarity in the past year.

"I am so proud of our city tonight because we refused to let that act define what we became," Scaffidi said.

He went on to urge everyone to continue that solidarity, asking each individual to do what they can to help others.

The Oak Creek police and fire honor guards displayed a massive American flag over the stage at the event, as the National Anthem was sung.

The group later lit candles in memory of all the victims of gun violence. The thousands of names of every person killed by a gun nationwide since the Sandy Hook shooting were read aloud.

Powered by Frankly