SHAWNEE, Kan. -- On August 5, a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis. was the target of a gunman who opened fire killing six people and hurting three others. On Sunday, The Kansas City Sikh community held a memorial to pay tribute to the victims of the shooting.
Sunday's remembrance at the Midwest Sikh Gurudwara is part of a national service held around the country with a special hymn that was sung at 10:30 a.m., the time the shooting took place in Wisconsin. Two metro temples are collecting donations and words of comfort to send to the families of those killed and hurt in the shooting rampage.
"What happened in Wisconsin is a very sad reminder about how much folks are not aware of our religion," said Santinder Hunda, Exec. Gurudwara board member.
Kansas U.S. Atty. Barry Grissom attended service and in Sikh custom covered his head and addressed the congregation along with the sheriff and Shawnee Police Chief to let the community know they don't have to live in fear.
"I don't expect our being here to elevate all of those concerns but to at least let them know they are not alone," said Barry Grissom, Ks. U.S. Atty. "They are doing nothing more than exercising their constitutional rights and we're going to do everything in our power to make sure they can do those things."
The shooting in Wisconsin hit home for Amrik Singh who says he used to worship at the temple where the shooting happened and knew the temple's president.
"He was a very nice guy..very helpful anybody who needs help just call him and he'll be right there to assist you anyway he can," Singh said.
Charanjit Hundal, the spokesperson for the Midwest Sikh Gurudwara says since 911, hundreds of Sikhs have been attacked in the U.S. including one just a few months ago.
"A Gurudwara in Michigan was vandalized with people saying go home and with references to Osama Bin Laden," Hundal said.
The Kansas City Sikh community hopes the Wisconsin tragedy will shed light on their faith and let people know they are Americans and God-loving Americans like so many others in the U.S.