Sikh temple shooting victims mourned by community at candlelight vigil (VIDEO)
After a terrible tragedy like the Sikh temple shooting that occurred this past weekend, the only way to deal with the aftermath is to face it together as a community. That's exactly what people in southeastern Wisconsin are now doing, as shown by the hundreds of residents who came together to mourn the victims of the shooting during yesterday's vigil.
Attendees stood in candlelight and prayed for the victims, which included heroes like the Sikh temple president, who died fighting to protect his beloved followers. They also paid thanks to those who ran into the line of fire to save lives, like the police officers and in particular, the two brave kids who first spotted the gunman and ran inside the temple to warn everyone inside of what was coming.
As they all remembered and paid tribute to the meaningful lives of their loved ones and town members, one thing became clear: the hateful, racist gunman who committed this horrific crime with the seeming intention to split apart a religious community had not succeeded.
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If anything, local people--many who have admitted to not knowing much about the Sikh community before this recent ordeal--have said that the tragedy actually shed new light on the need for increased awareness of the people around them. "I knew nothing about them at all. I don't think a lot of people did. When we don't know about somebody's religion we assume the worst," one town resident told The Guardian.
Meanwhile, Sikh mourners, including some of whom were in the temple on that fateful day, only seemed more bound together than ever, relying on their faith to get through this difficult period.
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While nothing can ever justify the tragic shooting, I'm glad to see that the entire community--of all races and religions--is banding together to mourn the victims and attempt to move forward. If anything can be learned rom this terrible tragedy, it's the importance of paying more attention and being more openly tolerant towards surrounding neighbors and citizens.
By lending heartfelt support to their Sikh neighbors, Wisconsin residents are at least taking one step forward to making their community a more united one. I only hope cities around the world follow their lead!
What do you think of the community's reaction? Tell us in the comments below!
Image via Getty Images