By Jueseppi B.
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Sikh Community Marks Anniversary of Wisconsin Temple Massacre
Published on Aug 5, 2013
One year after six Sikhs killed in attack on Wisconsin temple, advocates say more action is needed to help prevent future tragedies
From Chicago Tribune Company:
Families marking anniversary of Sikh temple shootings
Families of those killed a year ago when a gunman opened fire at a Sikh temple outside Milwaukee will join a national gun control group for a day of remembrance Monday, the anniversary of the shootings.
The shootings took place at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek on the morning of Aug. 5, 2012.
The gunman, Wade Michael Page, 40, a U.S. Army veteran with links to racist groups, wounded three others seriously when he opened fire on those at the temple. Page was shot in the stomach by a responding officer before dying when he shot himself in the head.
The event Monday will take place at the temple and serve as both a remembrance event and an occasion to call for what one of the groups participating in the event, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, called “meaningful action to reduce gun violence nationwide.”
Families of those killed in temple shootings will be joined by families of victims killed in other mass shootings, according to a release from Mayors Against Illegal Guns, as well as the mayors of Oak Creek and Milwaukee.
On Sunday, hundreds of people, including Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, packed the Oak Creek temple for a service remembering the victims of the temple massacre, the Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel reported.
As the anniversary approached, the federal government last week awarded a $512,000 grant to fund trauma and mental health services for the Sikh community in southern Wisconsin.
Some experts have suggested that Page might have thought the Sikhs were Muslim. The Sikh religion originated in India and is not related to Islam.
Attorney General Eric Holder said in a blog posting last week that the grant to the Wisconsin state government is meant to pay for mental health and trauma services for those affected by the shootings, including relatives of victims, witnesses and first responders.
A year later, people connected to victims of the shooting are still suffering and can benefit from the financial assistance, said Satpal Kaleka, widow of Satwant Singh Kaleka.
“It’s wonderful,” she said of the money.
In June, the federal government announced that it would track hate crimes in more detail, including Sikhs in the list of the categories on which it collects statistics. Some Sikh leaders had said in the wake of the shooting that this data was needed to show the extent of such hate crimes.
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