Sikhs return to pray

A week after a gunman killed six people in a Wisconsin gurdwara, mourners streamed into its prayer hall, bowing before the Holy Book, the Guru Granth Sahib, for the temple’s first official service on Sunday.

 Outside, members raised the American flag from half-staff and hoisted a new Sikh flag in an elaborate ritual surrounded by hundreds of people who had come from around the world  in a show of solidarity, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.

The service came near the close of a weeklong outpouring of sorrow and support for the Sikh community and an emotional funeral service on Friday for all six victims that  filled the Oak  Creek High School gymnasium to overflowing.

Worshippers in the prayer hall sat for hours as the priests and readers chanted and sang the scriptures and hymns in Gurmukhi and Punjabi, the sound of the  tabla echoing through the hall. Words flashed across a screen in English. “My playful friends have gone to sleep in the graveyard,” one frame read.

Victims’ family members and speakers from around the country closed the service, pledging their support and vowing to fight bigotry and educate others about the  faith.

Sikhs, many of them young men and women, travelled from temples, or gurdwaras, from as far away as Canada to volunteer for the day.

Meanwhile, in a show of solidarity with the Sikhs, a message of peace, solidarity and  forgiveness was shared throughout the weekend at inter-faith services in synagogues, churches, mosques and temples.

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