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Crowd Gathers to Remember Fallen at St. Peters Sikh Gurdwara

Dozens show up Wednesday night for a remembrance vigil for those who died in at a Gurdwara in Milwaukee on Sunday.

Sikhs and non-Sikhs alike gathered Wednesday night at the  in St. Peters to remember the victims of .

After a prayer inside, the large crowd flocked outside for a candle lighting ceremony. Once the candles were lit, Sikh members began to pray.

Following the candle lighting, it was back inside for another prayer and then a langar —a free meal for all in attendance. 

Sikh member Deepa Jaswal said the event was planned quickly.

"We just started planning this, literally, a little more than 24-hours ago, but we've gotten tons of support," Jaswal said. "... We've had a really positive response—I think the people have been really effected by what happened in Wisconsin."

Despite the quick turnaround, the parking lot was jam-packed and a large crowd did show up. 

"I'm glad everyone is coming out," said Lucky Singh, the Assistant to the Gyanie. "It's nice to see everyone."

Both Singh and Jaswal said that the events in Wisconsin were tragic, but the Sikh community has felt a positive reaction. 

"We're getting exposure for the religion—that's the good thing that came out of it," Singh said. 

Jaswal said her co-workers knew before Sunday that she practiced a different relgion, but now they understand more of her beliefs. 

"What happened in Wisconsin was tragic and senseless, but at the same time, you see us in the media now," Jaswal said. "You're able to identify us and who we are. It's not like, 'Oh yeah, I see these people with turbans on; are they Muslim? Are the Hindu?' In a way, it has been positive because we've gotten such a strong response. ...Now people are able to understand what we do follow and what our beliefs are."

A St. Charles County Sheriff's Deputy was on hand for the ceremony, but he wasn't needed. The event was peaceful and incident free.

Nate Birt August 09, 2012 at 02:27 PM
Wonderful photos and article, Joe. Thank you for sharing them.
Joe Barker August 09, 2012 at 04:10 PM
Thanks, Nate. It was a very touching ceremony.

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