The Indian community of Charleston, including the Charleston Sikh Society, will host a memorial and candlelight vigil for the victims of the Wisconsin Sikh temple shooting on Sat. Aug. 18 from 3-5 p.m. The memorial will take place at the Hindu Temple (1740 Jervey Ave.) in West Ashley.
On Aug. 5, white supremacist Wade Michael Page killed six and injured four as the temple prepared langar, a community meal. Page then committed suicide by shooting himself in the head.
“You don’t want to live in fear when you live in a community,” says Dr. Narender Nath, one of the organizers of the event. “You want to live in peace in harmony.” He says that violent acts like the temple shooting, and like the recent Colorado shootings at a midnight premiere of The Dark Knight Rises, do nothing for progress in the country.
The service will begin with a candle lighting and feature an introduction to the Sikh faith. Representatives of five different faiths — Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism, and Buddhism — will share their views, and there will be a question and answer session.
Nath thinks the memorial will be an opportunity to teach the Charleston more about its local Sikh and Hindu communities, and to not make decisions based on appearances. “By singling them out based on their identity or based on how they look, I don’t think that’s a good way to approach life,” he says.
For more information, visit the Temple’s website.