Renton Gurdwara Singh Sabha Sikh temple hosts vigil for Wisconsin temple shootingon August 11, 2012 @ 8:15 am (Updated: 10:57 am - 8/11/12 )
Temple Gurdwara Singh Sabha spokesman Jasmit Singh said that the vigil was organized to bring the community together and he has issued a public invitation for anyone who would like to join.
"What we want to achieve out of this is really two-fold: one is definitely the outreach to create awareness about the Sikh community, what they believe in, who they are, and what have they been doing in the 100 years they've been in this country," said Singh.
The vigil will feature prayers for the victims of the shooting, followed by the Guru Ka Langar, a traditional meal that follows Sikh temple services.
"We'll have the children and the elders all joining together in prayer service before the candlelight vigil and then a few speakers and then, hopefully, you know, really coming together as a community at the vigil," said Singh.
Singh says that there has been an enormous community response already and that it makes him feel optimistic despite the targeted shooting.
"They've come up to us on roads or in a mall, in a store, and kind of expressed their anguish at what has happened and really sympathized with the community," said Singh, "so that aspect of it makes you feel really good."
Local public figures including Senator Maria Cantwell, gubernatorial candidates Rob McKenna and Jay Inslee, and King County Executive Dow Constantine are expected to attend the event to show their support.
Around the country vigils are being held in Sikh temples and in community centers for the victims of the shooting. Asian-American groups have also shown solidarity by pushing the FBI to investigate more hate crimes against Sikhs.
The vigil will honor the six people killed at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek when alleged gunman Wade Page opened fire on worshipers.
The temple sent out a flyer invitation over Facebook. All members of the public are invited to come to the vigil.
Reports say that Page entered the temple with a 9-millimeter semi-automatic handgun shortly before morning services on Sunday Aug. 5. He opened fire and killed five men and a woman, wounding three others including Oak Creek Police Lieutenant Brian Murphy. When police advanced on Page, he shot himself in the head and died.
Authorities say that Page had ties to white supremacy groups, but they do not know why he specifically targeted the Sikh temple in Oak Creek.
The vigil will be held at the Gurdwara Singh Sabha Temple of Washington, located at 5200 Talbot Road South in Renton from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
The event is open to all members of the public.
Jillian Raftery contributed to this report.
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