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Survivors Of Other Attacks To Attend Sikh Vigil

Vigil marking the 1-year anniversary of the Sikh temple attack will address problems with violence, racism.

Temple members gather for a vigil last year. A candlelight vigil Monday will mark the 1-year anniversary of the Sikh temple shooting. File Photo: Mark Schaaf
Temple members gather for a vigil last year. A candlelight vigil Monday will mark the 1-year anniversary of the Sikh temple shooting. File Photo: Mark Schaaf
When the community gathers at a candlelight vigil Monday to remember those killed in the Sikh temple attack a year ago, they will be joined by people who know a little about what it's like for survivors of that shooting. 

Survivors of incidents at Columbine, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, Tucson and Boston, as well as Sept. 11 survivors, will be in attendance, said Amardeep Kaleka, who is coordinating the vigil. 

They will help promote the message Kaleka is hoping to get across: that what happened at the temple on Aug. 5, 2012, when a gunman with white supremacist ties opened fire and killed six people, is just a snapshot of the violent and racist culture that exists in Milwaukee and the country.

Kaleka, whose father was killed in the attacks, said a year since the shooting has allowed him to properly reflect on various social problems that contributed to that day. 

"Before, we were shell-shocked. We didn’t know what to say," he said. "Now we can articulate it and say look, there is a problem in Milwaukee."

Mayor Tom Barrett will speak at the vigil on behalf of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Kaleka said. The event will also include remarks from Lt. Brian Murphy, who was shot 12 times during the attack; Officer Sam Lenda, the second responding officer who fired the shot that neutralized gunman Wade Michael Page; and Mayor Steve Scaffidi. 

The vigil will be held from 8 to 10:30 p.m. on the grounds of the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, 7512 S. Howell Ave. 

Plans are in the works for a permanent memorial and library at the spot, Kaleka said. 

"Hopefully next year when we're at this date, we'll be looking at a building there," Kaleka said.

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Mark B August 02, 2013 at 10:47 AM
"Mayors Against Illegal Guns"? I'm not a mayor and I'm against illegal guns.

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