A CommUNITY Meeting

Aug. 23, 2012

On August 9, the City of Oak Creek, with numerous local, state and federal officials meet with citizens many of the Sikh faith. This meeting was in relation to the August 5 shootings at the Sikh Temple. I attended because I wanted to listen to the Sikh's and I wanted to show them my support. I have a business near Oak Creek and I often shop there. Here's what I learned from the meeting.

The President of the temple Satwant Sing Kaleka challenged and disrupted the gunman. Kaleka gave up his life to save others. He gave up his life to perpetuate his faith. There is precedence for such sacrifice in the Sikh faith. In saving others he was joined by others like Lieutenant Brian Murphy. Different names, different backgrounds but the same uncommon valor.

Kaleka's son Armardeep Singh Kaleka suddenly became the face of the Sikhs. At the meeting he was primarily concerned for members of his own faith community. If someone wanted an interview they would have to wait as the community shared condolences around Armardeep Sing Kaleka. He asked of other Sikhs to share their thoughts and feelings as best they could.

A few young men told me they had been at the temple all day. They were cleaning. It started with tearing up the blood stained carpet.

One of those fellows told me how much more difficult life had become after September 11, 2001. After that date he wouldn't wear traditional dress to school. It was a recurrent theme that many Sihks because of their beards and turbans were often stereotyped for terrorists. That couldn't be farther from the truth. See Sikh military history which is way beyond the scope of this article.

For the first time I heard the phrase "Chardi Kalan" This Sikh term meaning that no matter what life has in store for you, live in high spirits. While the meeting was somber the phrase was used and the Sikhs wanted to tell me what it meant. On that overcast night in a high school gym I witnessed a people of resilience and faith. On that night high spirits were evident as I was told about the Sikhs first coming to Milwaukee. It started with about ten families in the early 1980s. Now they have two temples and a vibrant culture. That takes high spirits. They have a Mayor who wants to include them in public governance and a community that is sending them love. There is possibly of unintended consequence from this tragic event. That consequence is that the Sikh community is going to flourish in this nation like they never could have imagined before.



 

Community Watch

» Live coverage: 2016 WIAA State Summer Baseball Tournament Updated:  7/22

» Big inning leads Marquette past Oak Creek in state semifinal 7/22

» Sue Haislmaier's watercolor paintings on display at botanical gardens 7/22

» Franklin community shows support for local police officers 7/21

» Traveling Beer Gardens coming to Hales Corners Park 7/21

» Moth Night at Wehr Nature Center July 29&30 7/21

» Oak Creek hangs banners at Drexel Town Square in honor of local military heroes 7/21

» Social media story on the storms rolling through Milwaukee area 7/21

» Youth soccer program at Hales Corners Library July 28 7/21

» Children's musician Duke Otherwise to perform at Hales Corners Library 7/20

» Gas leak in Franklin causes traffic stop, evacuation 7/20

» Southridge Mall adding 5 new attractions 7/20

» Emmanuel Church will hold car show at Augustfest event 7/20

» Traffic blocked for gas leak near Old Loomis Rd and Rawson Ave 7/20

» Initial Reaction Podcast: Wisconsin Badgers football, WIFCA All-Star game 7/20

» FPS announces district and school administrators for new school year 7/19

» Pokemon Go can go anywhere, but you shouldn't, police say 7/19

» Big third inning lifts Oak Creek baseball team past Franklin, 8-3 7/19

» Board moves Hwy 100 corridor project, Festival Foods forward 7/19

» Franklin Poms dancers donate toys to Children's Hospital of Wisconsin 7/19

» Oak Creek baseball team beats Franklin to advance to sectional final 7/18

» #BestSummerEverNOW: Share your 2016 summer photos of you in the Milwaukee suburbs Updated:  7/18

» Franklin Library's new 3D printer part of literacy goal 7/18

» Live coverage: 2016 WIAA Summer Baseball Sectional Round Updated:  7/18

» Charcoal Grill and Rotisserie lights its grill in Oak Creek July 18 7/18

View All Posts Got a tip? Welcome rss

Best Summer Ever

 

We've made it easy for you to get out and go this summer. From hitting the trails for a bike ride or walk, to where to find beer gardens in the area, to the best places to swim in Waukesha County to the best summer drinks and summer reads, check out our 2016 summer guide.

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

CONNECT