Canadian Sikhs attend funeral for victims of U.S. massacre
Published Friday, August 10, 2012 5:05PM EDT
Last Updated Friday, August 10, 2012 10:54PM EDT
A number of Canadian Sikhs attended a funeral in Wisconsin Friday for the victims of a Sikh temple shooting carried out by a white supremacist.
Hundreds of mourners gathered at a high school gym in Oak Creek, Wis., to pay their respects to six people gunned down by Wade Michael Page, a 40-year-old former member of the U.S. army.
Some Sikhs drove from as far away as Vancouver to attend the funeral. Sikh communities across Canada, including those in Winnipeg and Brampton, Ont. were also planning their own vigils Friday.
Page opened fire at a crowd of worshippers at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin on Sunday, killing five men and one woman and injuring two others.
He then ambushed one of the police officers responding to the scene and shot him nine times, investigators said.
The officer survived and his condition has been improving in hospital. Page shot himself in the head after a second officer wounded him in the stomach.
Among the killed was temple president Satwant Singh Kaleka, 65, who tried to fend off Page with a butter knife.
Jagmeet Singh, an NDP member of the Ontario legislature who travelled to Wisconsin for the funeral service, said the massacre was "a blow to that sense of security, a blow to the psyche” for Sikhs across North America.
"There's always a lingering feeling of vulnerability, that you're not in a place that you're fully comfortable with, whether it's language barriers or whether it's just (the) time it takes to learn a place," he told The Canadian Press.
During the funeral Friday, six caskets were lined up as photos of the victims flashed across a large screen.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker were among the dignitaries in attendance.
“As Americans we are one,” Holder said. “When you attack one of us you attack all of us."