US Gurdwara shooting: Sikhs thank Obama

Sikh Americans have thanked President Barack Obama for his gesture of flying the US flag at half-staff to mourn victims of Gurdwara shooting.

Updated: Aug 15, 2012, 09:47 AM IST

Washington: Sikh Americans have thanked President Barack Obama for his gesture of flying the US flag at half-staff to mourn the victims of shooting inside a Gurdwara in Wisconsin.

"We want to extend our appreciation to the President Barack Obama for offering his sympathy to the victims and their families.”

"We are also thankful to him and various state Governors for the gesture of flying the US Flag at half-staff, as the nation mourns the victims," the Sikh Americans said in a memorandum submitted to the US President yesterday.

"The memorandum to the US President has been submitted in behalf of Sikhs in the United States and Washington Metropolitan Gurdwaras Federation," said Gurcharan Singh, a prominent Sikh community leader, after the memorandum was submitted at the White House.

Noting that the Sikhs based in the US as well as around the World, are saddened and shocked by the tragic incident in Oak Creek, Wisconsin on August 05, the memorandum also thanked local administration, the police and law enforcement agencies.

"And, most importantly, we wish to thank Police Officer Brian Murphy for his heroic act in attending to his duty and wish to celebrate his courage in serving the community," it said.

The universal message of Sikhism is based on one single principle - One God prevails in all of us and therefore we observe total equality of human race, irrespective of colour, creed, religion or gender, it said.

"Today, once again, Sikhs rededicate themselves to spread their universal message and serve humanity. The Sikh Temples or Gurdwaras are open every day to everyone to experience meditation, peace and community feast. We Sikhs welcome and invite our American friends to grace our Gurdwaras and bless us with their presence," the memorandum said.

"The United States is the land of opportunity and Sikhs have been here for more than a century, contributing in every field and area of life. We Sikhs are committed to upholding the highest values of the American society and peaceful co-existence with others based on trust, universal brotherhood and mutual respect for each other`s belief," said the memorandum addressed to the US President.

Six Sikh worshippers were killed on August 5 when a lone gunman, identified as Wade Michael Page, went on a shooting rampage inside the Gurdwara. Page died of self-inflicted injuries.

The police are yet to determine the motive of the shootout. Three of those injured are still being treated in a local hospital, with one of them Punjab Singh in a critical condition.

There is an improvement in condition of two of them including that of the police officer Murphy who saved the lives of many Sikh worshippers by engaging the lone shooter in the gun battle.