Salvation Army Serves Sikh Community

Thousands of mourners are expected to pay their final respects in Wisconsin today to the six victims of the Sikh Temple shooting that occurred last Sunday. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker will be among the speakers before priests begin the 48-hour rite called Akhand Path which honors those who have passed.

Shortly after the tragic event took place last Sunday, The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services Team (EDS) arrived on location to provide hydration, emotional and spiritual support to first responders and family members near the temple.

The Salvation Army, Disaster Services, EDS, Sikh Temple Shooting, Wisconsin, Central Territory

Major Carol Lemirand provides support to one of the members of the Sikh Temple who lost a loved one that horrific day. (JS Online, Aug. 5, 2012, photo credit: Chris Wilson, © Journal Sentinal, Inc., reproduce with permission.

In the days following, The Salvation Army’s building acted as both a meeting place for the Sikh community until they were allowed back in the temple, as well as the location for Monday’s press conference where Sikh leaders stressed the need to educate the community on Sikhism: a monotheistic faith believing in oneness of God, equality of all people regardless of race, color, creed, gender or national origin, love and selfless service, and protecting the weak, oppressed and the poor.

Governor Walker was also in attendance at Monday’s press conference to pay his respects to the Sikh community.

Gov. Walker, Captain Tom McComb and Gurmukh Singh have a moment to talk about the tragic shooting and the outpouring of community support.

The Salvation Army, Disaster Services, EDS, Sikh Temple Shooting, Wisconsin, Central Territory

Salvation Army Divisional Secretary Major Stephen Yoder greets Sikh Temple member Herbens Singh Farwaha as he arrives for a press conference at The Salvation Army. Photo credit: Faithe Colas

Coincidentally, just two days after the shootings, the annual National Night Out – America’s Night Out Against Crime event took place in Milwaukee as planned on August 7, drawing a record-breaking crowd of more than 5,000. The Salvation Army Oak Creek Centennial Corps Band provided the music for the night’s festivities along with the drinks and candles for the solemn vigil that followed.

At the vigil, Captain Tom McComb, Corps Officer of The Salvation Army in Oak Creek, had the honor of praying for Lt. Brian Murphy, the police officer who was wounded nine times as a result of protecting victims from gunshots.

We hope you’ll join us in continued prayer for the victims and affected families of this tragedy.

We’d love to hear from you – let us know your thoughts and prayers in the comments section below. You can also visit The Salvation Army Oak Creek Online and on Facebook.