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Gurudwara holds first Sunday service since attack

Last updated on: August 13, 2012 10:40 IST

Gurudwara holds first Sunday service since attack

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More than 100 people gathered at a gurdwara at Wisconsin, United States, for its first Sunday service after a white supremacist gunned down six Sikh worshippers there last Sunday.

Members of the Sikh community prayed for the six worshippers who were killed in the shootout inside the gurdwara last Sunday.

They also prayed for the quick recovery of the three individuals who were injured in the tragic incident, including the police officer who fought the neo-Nazi gunman.

Wade Michael Page, 40, an ex-army veteran, went on a shooting spree killing six Sikhs and injuring three others, including a police officer, at the gurdwara last Sunday before dying of a self-inflicted gun shot wound.

Those attending the Sunday service said the ceremony involved cleaning up the pole which had a flag on top.

The flag was to be raised from half mast back to full mast.

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Image: Sikhs hold up placards with photos of six mass shooting victims after a candlelight vigil in Oak Creek, Wisconsin
Photographs: John Gress/Reuters

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Gurudwara holds first Sunday service since attack

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The service included devotional hymns and prayers and the closing of the Sikh holy book.

The holy book has been read in its entirety over the past three days.

Women sang hymns as a group lowered a flag pole outside the gurudwara.

The pole, which was covered with orange cloth, was first removed by nearly 50 men and boys. Thereafter the pole was washed with water and milk. It was finally wrapped with a new orange cloth.

The gurudwara was opened for the public on Friday, six days after the deadly shooting, with over 100 community members returning to clean it ahead of the funeral for the victims.

Members on Friday had decided that a lone bullet hole in a metal door frame at the gurudwara, where the six Sikhs were gunned down by the neo-Nazi man, will remain there as a poignant reminder of the tragedy.

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Image: Family members and mourners gather during a wake and visitation service for victims of last Sunday's attack at a Sikh temple
Photographs: Tom Lynn/Reuters
Tags: , Gurudwara

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Gurudwara holds first Sunday service since attack

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Hundreds of mourners had gathered on Friday inside the Oak Creek High School gymnasium for the funeral and memorial service of the victims.

Sikh community members gathered at the gurudwara for religious services "to commemorate the lives lost and come together in unity for a future of peace and understanding".

Froedtert Hospital officials on Friday had announced that the condition of one of three individuals critically wounded in the shooting was upgraded.

Santokh Singh's condition was upgraded to "satisfactory".

Singh suffered a single gunshot wound that penetrated his chest, diaphragm, stomach and liver. All of his injuries had been repaired in two surgeries and he was recovering well.

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Image: Sikhs prepare for vigil in Oak Creek, Wisconsin
Photographs: John Gress/Reuters

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Gurudwara holds first Sunday service since attack

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Oak Creek Police's Lieutenant Brian Murphy was also in "satisfactory condition".

Murphy was among the first to the scene, and was reportedly ambushed by the shooter, while he was providing aid to a victim in the temple's parking lot. He was shot nine times.

He was initially in Froedtert's ICU in a critical condition.

According to the hospital's website, 65-year-old Punjab Singh suffered a single gunshot wound to the face that caused facial fractures and damage to his right carotid and vertebral artery.

There is evidence he also may have subsequently suffered a stroke.

He was still in need of mechanical support to breathe and remained in "critical" condition.

Investigators have been working on the case and probing leads on the gunman throughout the week, recovering hundreds of pieces of evidence from his home and the gurudwara, but have said they fear that they may never know for certain what prompted the attack on the temple.

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Image: FBI agents walk past the entrance to the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin
Photographs: John Gress/Reuters

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