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The Oak Creek Sangat and the Practice of Chardikala

August 6, 2014 | By

Respected Sangat Members,

Oak Creek Sikh Gurudwara shooting victims [File Photo]

Oak Creek Sikh Gurudwara shooting victims [File Photo]

It has been two years since we lost members of our sangat – Satwant Singh Kaleka (65), Paramjit Kaur (41), Sita Singh (41), Ranjit Singh (49), Prakash Singh (39), and Suveg Singh Khattra (84) – in the deadliest attack on a religious place of worship in American history.

Since then, Sikh Americans and our allies at a local, state, and national level have worked together to heal and build a stronger community. And every one of these partners can testify first-hand to how the Oak Creek community has served as our inspiration throughout this journey.

I am inspired by the Oak Creek community’s constant demonstrations of the power and practice of chardi kala – perpetual optimism in the face of the greatest adversity. I think about how, on the night of the shooting, the sangat at Oak Creek was first concerned with the comfort of reporters and visitors even amidst tragedy. I also think about how beautifully the youth of Oak Creek have come together to lead the commemoration efforts over the past two years.

We are indebted to the Oak Creek community for their practice of chardi kala and are honored to have them in our sangat. Let us continue to honor their gurdwara’s sangat and the lives of those lost in all that we do. Let us always remember, “We are Oak Creek.”


Jasjit Singh

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