More than 40 people attended the vigil in Princeton Tuesday night in memory of the victims of the shooting at the Sikh temple in Wisconsin. Students and residents, young and old, gathered together in a circle in front of the fountain next to the Woodrow Wilson School, said prayers, and lit candles to remember and show their support for the Sikh community.
The event was organized by Princeton University undergraduate Kanwal Matharu, who is from New Orleans and is studying molecular biology (Matharu is pictured in the photo below, far left).
He first learned of the shooting on Facebook Sunday.
“For me it was very personal,” he said of the shootings. “Whether you are in a gudwara in New Oeleans or New Jersey or Wisconsin, it is the same prayers, the same people, the same uncles, the same food. It just hit me right in the heart.”
“My dad wears a turban,” he said. “Every Sikh has gone through some sort of hate crime. I felt hurt and numb when I learned about this. I felt like my whole world was moving fast. Getting involved in organizing this vigil has been my way of moving forward, of doing something positive and constructive.”
Matharu said he has spoken to religious leaders from other faiths about what happened, as everyone tried to comprehend it. “We are trying to respond in a compassionate way,” he said.