Families of Temple Shooting Victims Meet With First Lady
Family members said they were happy to see Michelle Obama, who met with them privately Thursday at Oak Creek High School.
Michelle Obama knew all about Satwant Singh Kaleka.
She knew the 65-year-old temple president's story, about how he rushed a gunman on the morning of Aug. 5 and died trying to save the temple he built.
On Thursday, the first lady met privately with Kaleka's family, as well as the families of five other members who died and four others who were injured in the shootings earlier this month.
Amardeep Singh Kaleka, Satwant's son, said Obama was familiar with the stories of all of the victims.
"The thing she kept repeating was, your father was a true hero," he said.
Family members said they were happy to see Obama, who met with them privately at Oak Creek High School for about a half hour following a campaign stop in Milwaukee.
Amarjit Kaur, wearing a bandage on her left wrist from when she was shot during the attack, said Obama hugged her and prayed with her.
The visit was emotional, Kaur said.
"She came to us — that is a big thing for us," Kaur said. "That means a lot to us."
Another of Kaleka's sons, Pardeep, said Obama's visit helps in the healing process.
"It's a sobering occasion, so you're never going to feel all that great about it," he said. "Her coming makes us feel a lot better and she shares in our grief."
Pardeep Kaleka said they gave Obama an orange bracelet that says "I pledge unity 8-5-12," made by children at the temple.
The first lady also met with the family of Oak Creek Police Lt. Brian Murphy, who was released from the hospital Wednesday and is at home on bed-rest.
Elected officials, including Oak Creek Mayor Steve Scaffidi, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and County Executive Chris Abele, also spoke with her.
"I just thanked her for being here," Scaffidi said. "It was important for the community and obviously for the temple members.
"The White House has been nothing but spectacular. They've offered services, they've obviously been here, I got the call from the president on the day that it happened. They've been nothing but supportive and I just told her I appreciated it."