August 5, 2022 (Oak Creek, WI) — Today marks the 10-year anniversary of the 2012 attack on the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin.
We solemnly remember Paramjit Kaur Saini, Sita Singh, Ranjit Singh, Prakash Singh, Suveg Singh Khattra, and Satwant Singh Kaleka, who were killed on that horrific day. We also honor Baba Punjab Singh, who passed away on March 2, 2020, due to complications related to the injuries he sustained during the attack. And we continue to be inspired by the perseverance of those who were also critically injured at the time: Bhai Santokh Singh and Lt. Brian Murphy.
Here are some ways that you can get involved–in Wisconsin and across the country–in honoring this important anniversary.
EVENTS IN OAK CREEK
Tonight, beginning at 7 PM ET / 6 PM CT / 4 PM PT, join in person or watch the livestream of the 10th Annual Oak Creek Sikh Memorial Anniversary Candlelight Remembrance Vigil. The speaking program includes Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers, Oak Creek Mayor Dan Bukiewicz, and representatives of the families who lost loved ones in the attack. If you are watching the vigil from home, be sure to follow along with the Sikh Coalition on Twitter and Instagram.
Additional events are open to those in the area. Tomorrow, August 6, the Chardi Kala Community Event begins at 11 AM CT; for more information, and to RSVP to workshops, click here. Sunday, August 7, will conclude the Akhand Path and Kirtan at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin beginning at 10:30 AM CT.
As a reminder, all commemorative in-person services around the Oak Creek 10-year anniversary are being led by the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, with additional programming, marketing, and community engagement support from the Sikh Coalition, Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund (SALDEF) and the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee. This direct support is for the explicit purpose of centering the Oak Creek Sikh community.
VISIT THE REMEMBER OAK CREEK LEARNING HUB
The Sikh Coalition has partnered with the Revolutionary Love Project on RememberOakCreek.org, a learning hub designed to help Americans from all communities understand what happened 10 years ago and how we can take action together to prevent further tragedies. The hub has several resources, including a powerful video and graphics you can share on social media to raise awareness with our non-Sikh neighbors.
80+ GURDWARAS CALL ON PRESIDENT BIDEN: READ THE LETTER
Over the past few weeks, the Sikh Coalition has reached out to gurdwaras across the nation with a sign-on letter to President Biden. This letter calls on the President to make more resources available and accessible to houses of worship that want to secure themselves against potential attacks and better prepare themselves for emergencies. More than 80 gurdwaras joined this important effort; read the letter here.
CONTACT YOUR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS AND DEMAND ACTION
As we reflect on 10 years since Oak Creek–and additional acts of targeted mass violence in Charleston, Isla Vista, Pittsburgh, El Paso, Poway, Atlanta, Buffalo, and elsewhere across our country–we choose to take action. Not enough has been done to stem the rising tides of violent hate in the United States, but Congress can move forward with three critical pieces of legislation today. In collaboration with the Revolutionary Love Project and SALDEF, join us and take two minutes to send a message in support of these bills to your representative in the House and your two Senators. This push follows our virtual congressional briefing, held on July 26 that highlighted voices from the Oak Creek, Charleston, and Pittsburgh communities affected by violent hate, which you can watch here.
NATIONAL DAY OF SEVA PROJECTS
More than 20 sangats from coast to coast will be leading Day of Seva projects and Night of Vigil events in honor of the 10-year anniversary of the Oak Creek gurdwara shooting. The following cities have confirmed activities during the August 5 to 7 weekend: Detroit, MI; Charlotte, NC; Fairfax, VA; Houston, TX; Los Angeles, CA; Bellingham, WA; Lawrenceville, NJ; Salt Lake City, UT; Indianapolis, IN; Dayton, OH; Cincinnati, OH; Asbury Park, NJ; Orangevale, CA; Oakland, NJ; Salem, OR; Enola, PA; Federal Way, WA; San Antonio, TX; Albuquerque, NM; East Greenbush, NY; Olathe, KS; Lexington, KY; New York City, NY; and Austin, TX. To find a Day of Seva project near you, click here.
FOLLOW ALONG ON SOCIAL MEDIA AND IN THE PRESS
Finally, keep your eye on the Sikh Coalition’s social media channels to see additional local and national press coverage of the Oak Creek anniversary as stories are published. Check out national press features in CNN, NPR, the Washington Post, and Interfaith America, as well as additional op-eds published in USA Today and states like Pennsylvania, Indiana, Texas, New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut.
As always, the Sikh Coalition urges you to practice your faith fearlessly.