“Can’t believe it’s been 5 years:” Prayers at Sikh Temple after 6 killed by white supremacist in 2012

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OAK CREEK -- Friday, August 4th began a 48-hour prayer service to remember the Sikh Temple shooting in August of 2012 at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek.

Sikh Temple of Wisconsin

On August 5th, 2012, a massacre took place at the gurdwara (Sikh temple) in Oak Creek, where 40-year-old Wade Michael Page fatally shot six people and wounded four others. Page committed suicide by shooting himself in the head after he was shot in the stomach by a responding police officer.

Page was a white supremacist and Army veteran from Cudahy.

Apart from the shooter, all of the dead were members of the Sikh faith.

On Friday, August 4th, ahead of the five-year anniversary of the shooting, the sound of scripture being chanted echoed through the meditation hall at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin.

Rahul Dubey

Rahul Dubey

"This weekend is special for us," Rahul Dubey, the godson of Satwant Kaleka, who was killed in the shooting, said.

The weekend will serve as a time to honor the victims, and remember them.

"We commemorate our souls who passed away," Dubey said. "I still cannot believe it's been five years. They are not here anymore. Everyone had a vital role in this temple and had the same message talked about."

5 year anniversary of the shooting at Sikh Temple of Wisconsin

Dubey said although mourning the loss is still hard, time is helping them heal. Members of the temple have taken their religious teachings, and shared them with the community -- and they've gotten tremendous support.

Sikh Temple of Wisconsin

"The faith always teaches you to be one good person, and to be loving and caring. Not just for yourself. Not just for your immediate family, but for your community. Since those five years happened, there are a lot of changes and a lot of positive energy in this in this community," Dubey said.

Perseverance, unity and understanding are the core messages they hope the nation has taken from this tragic incident.

"It's always awareness. It's always talking about the faith, talking about being a good human being," Dubey said.

Members take solace in their efforts as they hope to remove ignorance and hate that sparked the deadly day five years ago.

"I think we have made a difference and I'm proud of that," Dubey said.

In line with the concept of eternal optimism, Saturday, August 5th is the Chardi Kala 6K, which is also being done to bring the community closer together. Everyone is welcome.

Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek

Memorial for victims at Sikh Temple of Wisconsin

Then on Sunday, August 6th, the marathon prayer service will conclude with a special hymn along with words from the victims' families and community leaders.

CLICK HERE to learn much more about the Sikh Temple shooting in August of 2012.