Attorney General Holder Comforts Mourners at Sikh Memorial Service

BY News Desk  August 10, 2012 at 5:37 PM EST


Attorney General Eric Holder speaks to mourners of victims in Sunday’s shooting at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisc.

Hundreds of mourners lined a high school gymnasium Friday to pay their respects to the people gunned down outside of a Sikh temple on Sunday.

On August 5, 40-year-old Wade Michael Page shot and killed six worshippers at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, located in 12 miles south of Milwaukee in Oak Creek. Several others were wounded, including one police officer.

Page ultimately died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

In an outpouring of support today, community members gathered at Oak Creek High School where caskets holding the six victims lined the front wall. Sikhs and others of various faiths attended the memorial service, which featured prayers and reflections from relatives of the victims – many of whom spoke in Punjabi, the language of the Punjab region of India where Sikhism originated.

Photo by Darren Hauck/Getty Images
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker speaks to mourners at Friday’s Memorial Serivce. Photo by Darren Hauck/Getty Images

In his opening remarks, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker stood steadfast with the victims:

“Today we mourn with you, we pray with you, we support you.”

Attorney General Eric Holder praised the community’s ability to come together in crisis – a trait he said embodied the American spirit.

“Last Sunday, this community witnessed the very worst of humankind. But for every minute, every hour, and every day since then you have exemplified and you have inspired the very best in who we are.”

As the U.S.’s highest law enforcement official, he said he was committed to combating future crimes of hate. Federal investigation reports reveal Page had links to white supremacist groups.

Holder assured mourners:

“Our resolve to prevent acts of terrorism and combat crimes motivated by hatred has never been stronger. And that is precisely what happened here – an act of terrorism, an act of hatred.”