On August 5, 2012, a gunman opened fire at the Oak Creek Gurdwara in Wisconsin, his soul lost in a rampage of hate and insanity. My eyes become tense and my throat locks up with emotion when I open my heart to the tragedy, the loss of life, and the many lives that were changed forever. Let us all remember these beautiful Gursikhs who died that day, Sita Singh, Prakash Singh, Parmjit Kaur, Satwant Singh, Ranjit Singh, and Suveg Singh.
Raghuvinder Singh, the son of Baba Punjab Singh who was shot in the head and badly injured, wrote about his experience these past five years. His words are powerful and meaningful, as the political climate today is worse for minorities than in 2012. He writes, “This is not a problem that can be legislated away. What we need is for people of all backgrounds to build friendships with each other and show kindness to everyone they encounter.”
Together, with other people of good will, we must work to fight crimes of hate and bigotry. We can do this by supporting our Sikh organizations, working with our elected officials, and making meaningful personal connections within our cities and towns.
We are Sikhs. We are Americans. We will continue to work for the good of all.
Shanti Kaur Khalsa