The White House sent their condolences to the Sikh community today after seven worshippers were killed in an August 5 shooting rampage inside of a Wisconsin Sikh temple.
In his prepared remarks Attorney General Eric Holder told mourners gathered at the Oak Creek Memorial Service, "I am here – on behalf of the President of the United States, on behalf of my colleagues at the Department of Justice, and on behalf of all the American people – to stand with you, to mourn with you, and to pray with you."
He continued, "We are united today – not only by a shared sense of loss, but also by a common belief in the healing power of faith, and in the universal principles that are glorified in our nation’s churches, synagogues, mosques, temples, Gurdwaras, and other houses of worship; but also by the principles of compassion, kindness, tolerance, inclusion, and love."
Holder went on to call victims by name.
"We gather to honor Suveg Singh Khattra, a retired farmer who came to the Gurdwara to hear his native Punjabi, the language of his home and of the scriptures he loved. We celebrate the life of Paramjit Kaur, a proud mother who was always devoted to her two sons – Harpeet and Kamal – and to her faith. And we remember Prakash Singh, who just recently was overjoyed to be reunited with his wife and children from India -- a nation that is both a trusted ally and a revered friend.
"We also honor Sita and Ranjit Singh, brothers who were both priests at the Gurdwara, who devoted their lives to the practice of their faith and to the service of others. And we reflect on the extraordinary contributions of Satwant Singh Kaleka – a key leader and founder of the Gurdwara, who, in a split-second decision, didn’t hesitate to put his own body between a deranged killer and his fellow worshippers. We will never know how many lives he saved last Sunday – or how many more he enriched during the many days and years he spent at his beloved Gurdwara, where he was so clearly dedicated to feeding the hungry, befriending the lonely, and reaching out to help those most in need.
"Today, as we reflect on the lives and legacies of these six remarkable individuals, and keep in our hearts all those others harmed in the horrific attack."
Two days ago President Barak Obama called Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to express condolences for the Wisconsin attack which took the lives of Indian nationals as well as Americans.
Prime Minister Singh expressed his gratitude for the many messages and gestures of support from the United States. The two leaders then re-affirmed their nations’ commitment to the shared values of pluralism, religious freedom and freedom of worship.