“We saw hate 5 years ago:” 48 hours of prayer comes to an end at Sikh Temple in Oak Creek

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OAK CREEK -- A weekend of prayer ended Sunday, August 6th at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek, marking the five-year anniversary of the mass shooting that claimed six lives.

On August 5, 2012, a massacre took place at the gurdwara (Sikh temple) in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, 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.

"Hate has no color. Hate has no face. Yet we all saw hate five years ago," a temple member said.

Sikh Temple of Wisconsin

For 48 hours, members of the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek and members of the community honored and remembered the six lives lost five years ago.

"You're comments are most valued and appreciated," a temple member said.

With portraits of the victims on display, Sunday afternoon ended an emotional weekend of prayer.

"When you come together and those hearts and minds connect, the presence of the divine is there and you don't even have to say a word," a temple member said.

Sikh Temple of Wisconsin

Inside the temple, speakers continued the service with testimonies about facing hate with love.

"Now is the tribute by the elected officials, the community members, the community leaders and from the victims' families as well," Rahul Dubey said.

Brian Murphy

Among the speakers Sunday was retired Oak Creek Police  Lt. Brian Murphy -- first responder on August 5th, 2012.

"When something is stolen from you, when the lives were stolen from everyone here, you can't get that back," Lt. Murphy said.

Murphy was shot 12 times and spoke of remembering the victims and how they lived.

"The voices of the people that were lost are still here. August 5th, 2012 changed a lot of people's lives, but remember the people that were here on August 4th and all the times before that," Murphy said.

Among the messages of perseverance was a vow to engage the public, who may still be unfamiliar with the Sikh faith as a means of cultivating a better understanding.

"May we keep those who were lost and injured for ever in our hearts and prayers," a temple member said.

Sikh Temple of Wisconsin shooting victims

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