Peace Event Honors Victims of Sikh Temple Shooting

Aug 5, 2013

A few of the hand-decorated lanterns that were later lit, and floated along the Milwaukee River
Credit Ann-Elise Henzl

It was one year ago that a white supremacist walked into the Oak Creek Sikh temple, opened fire, and killed six worshippers.

A number of ceremonies have taken place in the last few days, to mark the anniversary. An annual peace event was expanded, to include an observance of the temple shooting. Lanterns for Peace was founded to commemorate the victims of the atomic bombs that the U.S. dropped on Japan.

Peace activist and former white supremacist Arno Michaelis told the audience about the work of Serve 2 Unite, a group founded after the Oak Creek shootings, to teach tolerance
Credit Ann-Elise Henzl / WUWM

Participants in the Saturday event in downtown Milwaukee listened to music, poetry and speeches. They also decorated Japanese lanterns, then floated them on the Milwaukee River, at the conclusion of the ceremony.

Those who attended talked about the tragedy at the Sikh temple, and how they – and the peace movement – were affected.

Two participants in the peace event, working on their lanterns
Credit Ann-Elise Henzl

Here are the comments of Joseph Ellwanger, followed by Steve Ohly, Joyce Ellwanger, Becky Cooper-Clancy of Peace Action Wisconsin, and former white supremacist, Arno Michaelis, who’s now a peace activist.