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Gurdwara shooting: Punjab CM, US AG to attend memorial service

August 10, 2012 11:03 IST
The Obama administration has deputed United States Attorney General Eric Holder to deliver remarks at Friday's memorial service for the victims of Wisconsin gurdwara shooting, which would also be attended by Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.

Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate, is sending one of his sons to be present at the memorial service, said Kulwant Singh Dhaliwal, a trustee of the Sikh temple where six Sikh worshippers were killed by a lone gunman on Sunday.

The Wisconsin governor, who met victims' families on Thursday, too would be attending the memorial service along with a host of federal and state officials and political leaders.

Badal, and several of his Cabinet colleagues who are in Washington on a private visit too would be attending the memorial service, Dhaliwal said.

In preparation for the memorial service, he said, thousands of people are expected to attend the event to honour those killed in the tragic incident. "We are overwhelmed by the response," Dhaliwal said.

The memorial service is scheduled from 9 am to 11 am (local time).

On Thursday, Walker had an emotional meeting with the victims' families. "That was obviously private but very emotional," his spokesman said.

Walker also announced that from Friday to August 17, he would place a visitor's book in the state Capitol rotunda where visitors could write notes of condolence to the Sikh community. The book will be kept for one week at the visitors desk in the Capitol and then delivered by the governor's office to the Sikh community in Oak Creek.

"Since the terrible acts of violence committed last Sunday at the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, our entire state has been focusing on supporting the victims, their families, and the survivors of this tragedy and on helping the entire community and state to heal," he said.

"While we are still trying to determine exactly what motivated the killer, it's important to note discrimination and violence targeted toward a specific ethnic or religious group runs contrary to America's core ideals. By placing it in the First Amendment to the US Constitution, our founding fathers placed special emphasis on protecting religious freedom for all Americans.We must show constant vigilance in defending our founding principles," Walker said in his weekly radio address.
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