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Diaspora

Remembering 9/11: Sikhs participate in the Memorial service of September 11 attacks on America

September 14, 2022 12:17 AM

NEW YORK: Sikh Americans from the city of Dayton, Ohio in USA gathered along with hundreds of other local community members to observe the 21st Anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center (WTC) in New York and the Pentagon. This annual remembrance ceremony was held by the city at the Beavercreek’s 9/11 Memorial to remember the lives lost and sacrifices made on that fateful day.

More than 2600 people were killed in and around the WTC tower buildings when terrorists hijacked airplanes and crashed them into the towers, 184 died when a third plane hit the Pentagon and 40 were killed in a plane crash in Pennsylvania.

The 9/11 Memorial in Beavercreek features a 25-feet twisted piece of steel, that once stood between the 101st and 105th floors of the North Tower of World Trade Center. This piece was transported to Beavercreek by two firefighters who were part of the Ohio Task Force One that assisted in rescue operations at Ground Zero in New York.

The ceremony included a Presentation of Colors, lowering of the flag over the 9/11 Memorial, singing of the National Anthem, a ceremonial bell ringing, commemorative message by Mayor of Beavercreek Bob Stone. Greene County Commission Rick Perales, also attended the memorial service.
Sikh community activist Sameep Singh Gumtala shared, “we gathered today along with our fellow Americans to remember the men and women who tragically lost their lives, including many brave firefighters, police officers, and paramedics who made the supreme sacrifice in their performance of duty. We also honor the military and family members of those who lost their loved ones.”

Gumtala added that the Sikh community also remembered Balbir Singh Sodhi who was shot and killed outside of his Mesa, Arizona gas station four days after the attacks in a hate crime. The attacker wanted to “kill a Muslim” in retaliation for the attacks. His death marked the first deadly post 9/11 hate crime and started what would be a rising wave of hate and discrimination incidents against Sikhs, Muslims and South Asians. The events of September 11, 2001, affected each and every American in distinct ways, said Gumtala.

Sikh community members participating in the service included Dr. Charanjit Singh Gumtala, Avtar Singh Springfield, Rajpal Singh, students from Wright State University Harroop Singh, Harshdeep Singh and Navratan Singh. Ardas was done during the Sunday service at the Gurdwara Sahib in Dayton, neighboring city of Cincinnati and at Gurdwaras in the rest of the country.
Many of the pillars from the World Trade Center are installed at memorials built in various cities across the USA and people can visit anytime of the year.

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