A Sikh temple in suburban Milwaukee reopened its doors Friday as thousands held a memorial to pay their final respects to the six worshippers killed last Sunday morning.
"We mourn with you, we pray with you, we support you," said Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker at a memorial service at Oak Creek High School.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Rep. Paul Ryan also attended he memorial. The wake was to be followed by private funeral ceremonies.
After being roped off for four days, members of the Sikh community won't let this tragedy keep them away from their house of worship and peace.
"Having your place of worship being violated, Gurdwaras, like many houses of worship, are considered places of sanctuary, places of peace," one worshipper said. "This is and will continue to be our house of worship."
The six people killed at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin were:
- Temple president Satwant Singh Kaleka, 65, who was shot as he tried to fight off gunman Wade Michael Page with a butter knife.
- Ranjit Singh, 49, and his brother, Sita Singh, 41 – both priests who dedicated their lives to their faith.
- Suveg Singh Khattra, 84, a constant presence at the temple
- Prakash Singh, 39, a priest best remembered for his fun-loving approach to life and joke-telling.
- Paramjit Kaur, 41, who worked 66 hours a week to provide for her family, but made it to the temple for at least one hour every day to pray.
Three others were wounded in the shooting.
After being shot by police, Page, a white supremacist, took his own life.
On Thursday, Sikhs returned to the temple for the first time after the FBI finished collecting evidence. Civil rights activist Jesse Jackson was also on hand, offering his condolences to the Sikh community.
Minnesota is also honoring the victims, as Gov. Mark Dayton ordered flags to half-staff on Friday. The Sikh Society of Minnesota is also holding a prayer service for the victims at their temple in Bloomington, Minn. and they plan to send members to the Oak Creek temple to help in any way possible.