Sikhs Remember Slain Worshippers

Aug 2, 2013

Members of the Sikh community attend a memorial service at the federal courthouse in downtown Milwaukee.
Pictures of the slain Sikh members on display in the courthouse.

At least 100 people gathered at the federal courthouse in downtown Milwaukee Friday, to honor the six Oak Creek Sikh temple members, who were slain nearly a year ago.

Pictures of those who died were on display in the rotunda, right under the American flag.

They were killed when a white supremacist entered the temple and opened fire. He took his own life, after he was surrounded -- and injured -- by police.

Amardeep Kaleka, the son of slain temple president Satwant Singh Kaleka, says it was unfortunate that it took a tragedy for Sikhs to be recognized in America.

“Even though we’ve been in America for over 150 years in California, everywhere, it still seemed like we were invisible. And we’re one of the major religions in the world, we’re the fifth largest religion. For it to take something this tragic for Americans to realize they don’t know who we are, it’s sad. But at the same time, it’s a fulfillment of my father’s dreams, in terms of having a voice as a Sikh culture in an American song,” Kaleka says.

Several events are planned for the weekend, and for Monday, which is the anniversary of the shootings.