Oak Creek (Wisconsin): Grieving members of the Sikh community held the first service at the Gurdwara here since the killing of six worshippers by a white supremacist a week ago and offered prayers for the victims.
The mourners assembled inside the prayer hall of the Gurudwara on Sunday, bowed before the Guru Granth Sahib and chanted hymns and prayed for the six worshippers who were killed in the shootout inside the Gurdwara last Sunday.
They also prayed for the quick recovery of the three individuals who were injured in the tragic incident including the police officer who fought the neo-nazi gunman.
Wade Michael Page, 40, an ex-army veteran, went on a shooting spree killing six Sikhs and injuring three others, including a police officer, at the Gurdwara on last Sunday before dying of a self-inflicted gun shot wound.
Those attending the Sunday service said the ceremony on Monday involved cleaning up the pole which had a flag on top.
Outside, community members raised the American flag from half-staff and hoisted a new Sikh flag in an elaborate ritual surrounded by hundreds who'd come from across the country.
The service included devotional hymns and prayers and the closing of the Sikh holy book. The holy book has been read in its entirety over the past three days. Women sang hymns as a group lowered a flag pole outside the Gurdwara.
The pole which was covered with orange cloth was first removed by about 50 men and boys. Thereafter the pole was washed with water and milk. The pole was finally wrapped with a new orange cloth.
"The six people who died were some of the most beloved people here," said Kanwardeep Kaleka, whose uncle Satwant Singh Kaleka was among those killed in the incident.
"That they died in this house of God brings us even more peace," he was quoted as saying by the local media.
The Gurdwara was opened for the public on Friday, six days after the deadly shooting with over 100 community members returning to clean it ahead of the funeral for the victims.


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