(CBS/AP) OAK CREEK, Wis. - Thousands of mourners paid their final respects Friday to six worshippers gunned down by a white supremacist at a Sikh temple in the U.S. almost a week ago for reasons that authorities say may never become clear.
"We mourn with you, we pray with you, and we support you," Wis. governor Scott Walker said during the ceremony.
A day after the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin opened for the first time since Sunday's attack, the mourners, many of them Indian-American from across North America, milled through a nearby school gymnasium and by the six caskets.
Sikh singers sang hymns in the Punjabi dialect. One paused to translate.
"Dear God, you have given me this body and this soul. This body is doing whatever you want me to do. You take this soul, this is your soul," he said.
Several dozen police officers stood by, watching the service. At least one covered his head in the Sikh tradition.
"We are united today not only by a shared sense of loss but by a belief in the healing power of faith," the country's top lawyer, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, told the crowd.
He remarked that violence against the religious group is becoming too common, pointing out that is "wrong, it is unacceptable and it will not be tolerated."
"This community witnessed the very worst of human kind," he added. "But, for every minute, every hour, every day since then you have inspired the very best of who we are."
After the ceremony, a series of priests were to read the Sikh holy book from cover to cover at the temple in a rite honoring the dead called "Akhand Path." It takes 48 hours.
"We want to pay homage to the spirits who are still in there," said Harpreet Singh, the nephew of one of the victims.
One bullet hole in a doorway leading to the main prayer hall has been left unrepaired as a memorial to the shooting victims.
Mourners pay their respects at the funeral and memorial service for the six victims of the Sikh temple of Wisconsin mass shooting in Oak Creek, Wis., Friday, Aug 10, 2012. The public service was held in the Oak Creek High School.
(Credit: AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)
Journalist Mike Clemens told CBS News about three thousand people are expected to attend the memorial, to be held at Oak Creek High School.
"There's a lot of people in the Oak Creek community that want to reach out to their neighbors of the Sikh community and let them know they're being supported," said Clemens.
Kuldeep Chahal, 35, a teacher from Toronto, arrived at the temple with several others after driving 12 hours. Chahal brought banners and cards that temple members in Canada had signed for families of the victims.
"The reason we came down is because we definitely want to show the community how much we support them," Chahal said....
Overflow crowd at UW-Milwaukee observance for shooting victims
MILWAUKEE — There was an overflow crowd Thursday afternoon, August 9th at a vigil held on theUW-Milwaukeecampus to remember the six killed during the Sikh Temple shooting Sunday morning in Oak Creek.
Some members of Oak Creek’s Sikh Temple are students or faculty at UWM — one reason students chose to host Thursday’s remembrance. It drew people from outside the university community as well.
There were no harsh words — not even against the shooter, 40-year-old Wade Michael Page, but there was disassociation with him...
“I have never in my whole life thought that this would happen, and then the support — people have been leaving flowers outside, baskets full of fruit outside, chocolate, cookies, every kind of cookies,” Dr. Arora said....
OAK CREEK, Wisconsin – Thousands of mourners paid their final respects Friday to six worshipers gunned down by a white supremacist at a Sikh temple in the U.S. almost a week ago for reasons that authorities say may never become clear...
One bullet hole in a doorway leading to the main prayer hall has been left unrepaired as a memorial to the shooting victims....