TORONTO: Politicians and religious leaders from other faiths joined hundreds of Sikhs at Nathan Phillips Square in downtown Toronto to pay homage to the seven victims of the shooting at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin last Sunday.
Before speeches by leaders and candlelight vigil amid heavy drizzle on Saturday night, the attendees went around in circles, with those in the front row carrying letters to form `CANADA WEEPS.’
Individuals also carried placards with slogans such as Nirvair Without Enmity, We Salute You , Rest in Peace and In Our Thoughts & Prayers.
Chanting religious hymns in unison, they walked around the venue for about an hour before gathering in front of the raised platform to pay respects to the victims.
Ontario minister Glen Murray said Canadians of all faiths stood by the Sikhs in this tragedy. “You are not alone in this tragedy,’’ he said, consoling the Sikh community.
Speaking in a chocked voice, MP Kirsty Duncan said her heart goes to the victims and the Sikh community.
Harinder Takhar, minister for government services, expressed his solidarity with the community and prayed for the the families of the victims.
Paying tributes to the victims, the candlelight vigil organizers representing Sikh temples of Ontario said, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the victims. We express our gratitude for the law enforcement authorities for their prompt and effective response to the situation and pray and offer our appreciation for the bravery of the police officer injured in the line of the duty protecting innocent people.’’