NEWS

Surrey temple honours Wisconsin shooting victims

08/08/2012 10:51 EDT | Updated 10/08/2012 05:12 EDT
Hundreds of people attended at candlelight vigil in Surrey, B.C., Tuesday evening to remember the victims of a shooting at a Wisconsin Sikh temple.

The Sunday morning shooting left six people dead and three injured. Witnesses said a gunman walked into the temple and opened fire. Police later shot alleged gunman Wade Michael Page dead.

At the Guru Nanak Sikh Temple on Scott Road, mourners lit candles and signed white boards in honour of the victims.

The vigil was open to the public and attended by police officers, politicians, religious leaders and people from various religious backgrounds.

Swarm Sindu, 19, said the gathering sends a powerful message.

"We're putting a statement down: we don't want to see any of this," Sindu said.

"We don't want to see this happen to anybody else, not just the Sikh community. It could have been the Muslims; it could have been the Christians or Hindus right?"

'We don't recognize borders'

Guru Nanak temple leader Bikramjit Singh says this is a time for compassion despite the horrific attack.

"We said a prayer for those who lost their lives, who are struggling with their lives, plus also for those who have this mentality, who are in this state of mind where there's just hatred, hatred, hatred, trying to go and kill, kill," he said.

Anne Callaghan, the U.S. consul general in Vancouver, also attended. She commended the solidarity in dealing with the senseless violence.

"I think it was a beautiful service and I think it just underscores how close our relationship is, that we really are one community when it comes to caring for each other," she said.

"We don't recognize borders when it comes to that kind of community spirit and that out-pouring of grief."

Two representatives from the Guru Nanak Sikh Temple are scheduled to travel to Wisconsin to help with a memorial planned there for Friday.

The temple has also raised a $5,000-donation for Oak Creek, Wisconsin.

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