OAK CREEK -- After five years, the beat goes on inside the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin. Thursday afternoon, a young man plays the drums with a group of five children seated around him. Friday will begin a three-day commemoration of the lives lost in a mass shooting here that claimed the lives of six people.
While prayer services go on as scheduled Thursday evening, that doesn't mean the ongoing healing process has been easy for Pardeep Kaleka. His father, Satwant Singh Kaleka, was the president of the temple on August 5, 2012. He, along with five others, lost their lives when a white supremacist gunman opened fire both in and outside the temple.
"I remember my father, I remember those other five that have lost their lives, I remember Baba Punjab Singh, who's still in a vegetative state. I remember Brian Murphy taking 15 shots, I remember all these things," Kaleka said.
To commemorate the five-year anniversary of the shooting, the temple is hosting events all weekend long, Friday August 4th through Sunday August 6th. All three days will include a marathon reading of the Sikh holy book, the 'Guru Granth Sahib.'
"There's a lot of hymns, there's a lot of meditation, a lot of just reflecting on life," Kaleka said.
Saturday morning, August 5th, will feature the annual 6K run/walk in honor of the six victims. Kaleka says he wants the weekend to be inclusive as possible.
"If it's a new experience, there will be people there to greet you and show you the protocol on how to pay respects but people being there, being present is what we want," Kaleka said.
One day, the children here will understand the terror, the bravery, and the unity on that one Sunday in August.
"Remembering the pain and remembering the healing comes hand-in-hand. You can't do one without the other," Kaleka said
Following the marathon reading on Sunday August 6th, a public memorial service will be held at the temple. That's set to begin at 1:30 p.m.