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National and interfaith leaders join for prayer at Sikh Satsang Gurdawra in Indiapolis

Kanwal Prakash Singh | April 21, 2021 08:45 PM

INDIANAPOLIS:Shock-waves continue to ripple through Hoosier Sikhs and our friends across the USA and the other communities in American and around the world, following the mass shooting on April 15 night at the FedEx facility in Indianapolis that claimed eight innocent lives and injured several others. We pray for the departed souls to be reunited through eternity with the Highest Spirit. We pray for the departed souls to be reunited with the Highest Spirit through eternity. We extend our deepest condolences and prayers for healing to the families of all victims.

Sunday, April 18, 2021: It was a beautiful sunny Indiana day. It was the designated day for the observance day for Baisakhi, one of the holiest days on the Sikh calendar. We added a special “Prayer for Healing” to the service. Festivals of many faiths and cultures converge at this time of the year.

Our hearts were heavy and spirits were gripped with sadness by the loss of eight precious souls that included four Sikh Hoosiers. We are struggling: how and when this continued devastating humanitarian nightmare will end in America. We sought Hope, Love, and Light as One American family.

Many friends and media representatives joined us to take part in the “Prayer for Healing” that included U.S. Senator Todd Young; U.S. Congressman Andre Carson; Deputy Mayor Judith B. Thomas; Rabbi Dennis Sasso; Rabbi Brett Kerchiver; Rev. Angelique Walker-Smith; representatives of several faith groups - Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu, Jain, Buddhist, Mormon, and Sikh; leaders of Asian American Alliance; and educators, teachers, and diverse media personnel. Several leaders and friends from many cultures and from across the USA and beyond joined in spirit, sent heartfelt messages of support, and asked that how they can help.

The “Prayer for Healing” touched on many critical areas: the details of the grave tragedy; faith learning and cultural engagement initiatives to dispel unfounded stereotyping; and negative perceptions about other people. Expanding a sense of belonging and respect for traditions different from own. Legislative measures and law enforcement protections to prevent hate crimes, workplace discrimination and violence, and bullying in schools. They are among the urgent steps that we must take to prevent tomorrow’s nightmares today.

Senator Young and Congressman Carson were exceptionally gracious: praising the Hoosier Sikhs for their farsighted approach to being good neighbors; supporting the idea of Sikh representation at the highest level of government; pointing to available federal funding to upgrade safety in places of worship; and encouraging the Hoosier Sikhs to exercise their rights of equality, justice, and dignity; and serving in the once-closed professions and to striving for big dreams. They assured the interfaith and multicultural congregation that the American dream is alive and well and working together will bring us home, and “we shall overcome” the unimagined grief and the formidable challenges of today and to prepare ourselves to lead at local, state, and national levels.

Enlarging our future prospects to achieve big dreams may be one way to pay our best tribute and respect to those we lost at the FedEx murders and to pave the way to new destinies to contribute to this great Republic that is our proud home.

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