Weekend of reflection to remember Sikh Temple shooting victims

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- A weekend of reflection, honoring the lives lost in the mass shooting at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, began on Friday, August 3rd with a ceremony at Milwaukee's Federal Courthouse.

Victims' families, friends and community leaders came together on Friday to reflect upon a year that changed so many lives. Music played as hundreds filled up the federal courtroom.

Monday, August 5th marks the one-year anniversary of the Sikh Temple shooting. A gunman walked into the Oak Creek place of worship, killing six people and wounding several others.

"Today we honor those who died in that tragedy," said Sen. Ron Johnson.

The victims' pictures sat on a table in front of the families and their supporters.

"Let us draw strength from those we honor, remember them and value we share," said Sen. Tammy Baldwin.

One by one, victims' families lit candles to remember their loved ones.

Kamaljit and Harpreet Saini lost their mother, Paramjit Kaur, in the shooting. That morning, she let her sons sleep in while she went to the temple.

"She protected us in a way, any way she could, so I'd like to look at it that she was our guardian angel. And she left us behind," said Harpreet Saini.

Amardeep Kaleka's father, Temple President Satwant Singh Kaleka, was also killed in the shooting. Kaleka says in the past year his father achieved in death what he dreamed of doing while he was alive -- enlightening people about his faith.

"For it to take something this tragic for Americans to realize they don't know who we are, it's sad," said Kaleka. "At the same time, it's a fulfillment of my father's dream having a voice as a Sikh culture in an American song."

Also Friday, U.S. Attorney James Santelle announced the Department of Justice is giving more than $500,000 to the Oak Creek community to help with trauma services for those still coping with the tragedy.

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