CHARLESTON, South Carolina/OAK CREEK -- Expressions of grief, faith and gratitude on Sunday, June 21st filled the space of a horrific mass killing at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, as the venerable structure was again a house of worship. Hundreds filled the pews of the historic church on Sunday for the first time since the shooting last Wednesday night, June 17th. This, as the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek hosted a candlelight vigil to remember the nine people killed in the shooting at the church last week.
The shooting in Charleston, South Carolina may have taken place miles away from Wisconsin -- but it is resonating here, especially with some with the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek.
On August 5th, 2012, Wade Page entered the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin and shot and killed six people. Four others were hurt. Page eventually took his own life after he was shot in the stomach by a responding police officer.
Page was a white supremacist from Cudahy.
All six of those killed were members of the Sikh faith.
Now, members of the Sikh community are thinking about those in Charleston.
"We are standing by you. We feel the pain. We share the pain. We want to peace to be in the society and we will work hard to achieve peace in this society," Rahul Dubey, whose godfather was killed in the shooting at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin said.
Law enforcement officials have said 21-year-old Dylann Roof of Lexington, South Carolina, admitted to shooting and killing the people he'd sat with for Bible study at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina last Wednesday night. He told investigators he did it to start a race war, according to one of the officials.
Nine people were killed.
"Some people are forgetting the message that we are all one," Dubey said.
In August, it will be three years since the shooting at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek. After he was shot in the stomach by a responding officer, Wade Page took his own life.
"You find strength in unity. You find peace. You find deliverance," Pastor Joseph Baring with the St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church in Madison said.
Pastor Baring came to Oak Creek to lead a prayer at the candlelight vigil. He knew one of the victims -- Rev. Daniel Simmons.
"We`re Charleston and Charleston is us and that`s the way you look at that. It`s heartbreaking," Baring said.
From prayers in Charleston Sunday morning to prayers in Oak Creek Sunday night, these worshippers are members of a somber but expanding community -- people who know what it feels like to lose a loved one in a place of worship at the hands of a gunman motivated by hate.
"People sometime judge us -- judge us on our appearances, on our color, on our race. Stop judging. People are just -- 'look, that color.' Look beyond the boundaries -- at how beautiful everybody is," Dubey said.
On Sunday night in Charleston, a unity chain began on the 13,200-foot Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge. Organizers hoped to attract enough people to hold hands and stretch from Charleston to the town of Mount Pleasant on the other side of the Cooper River. It's another example of unity and solidarity with the people of Charleston as they process this tragedy.
Amardeep Kaleka lost his father in the shooting at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin. He headed to Charleston this weekend to comfort this weekend to reach out to folks in the community and promote his organization Serve2Unite.