Local Service for Victims of Sikh Temple Shooting

August 12, 2012 Updated Aug 12, 2012 at 7:13 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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August 12, 2012 Updated Aug 12, 2012 at 7:13 PM EDT


CLARENCE CENTER (WKBW) The Sikh temple in Clarence Center was filled with songs and prayers on Sunday as a community remembered and honored those killed in Wisconsin last week.

"We have received messages of condolences, of support, offers of help, from all over. And we feel so welcome, such a strong part of this tight knit community and society," Harbinder Gill, president of the Niagara Frontier Sikh Society said.

Despite the tragic loss, Sikh leaders preached a message of peace and growth in the face of adversity.

"This incident has made us stronger. As the history of the Sikh religion is, every incidence you have to become stronger, you have to not look at the bad things around you, but look at all the good things around you," Harender Singh Arora, a founding member of the local Sikh temple, said Sunday.

Clarence Town Supervisor David Hartzell attended Sunday's service, expressing his condolences and willingness to help. He was one of several non-Sikh followers to attend and show solidarity at such a difficult time.

"I just wanted to come out of respect for their tragic loss and to let them know that we are standing with them here in Clarence. But I think nationally we want them to know they're not alone," Clarence resident Marilyn Kausner said.

Many in the Sikh community also took the opportunity to explain their religion to others and share their beliefs with the surrounding community.

"We want to lead our life like a good human being, and that is what Sikhism is. Lead a life of a good human being, stay strong for the weak ones, and share your strength with the others," Arora added.