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Sikh Community Offers Candlelight Prayer For Newtown

Plainview gurdwara holds solemn vigil in honor of those slain in Connecticut.

The Sikh community knows all too well the anguish felt by.

It was just last August when a neo-Nazi sympathizer gunned down six members of a Sikh community in their gurdwara, or temple. After that attack, Long Island Sikh's were joined by numerous others in a candlelight vigil.

On Monday night, members of Plainview's Sikh community conducted another solemn candlelight vigil, this one honoring the children and teachers murdered in Newtown last week.

"We feel their pain, the pain when any child of God is hurt," said Surider Singh Chawla, chairman of the Guru Gobind Singh Sikh Center . "We need to step up and stand with them as Americans and as people of God. This must never happen again in our schools."

Despite being hastily organized, about 100 people attended Monday night's vigil. First, members entered the gurdwara and offered prayers. They emerged together and began to light candle after candle, standing in the cold in solidarity with those grieving in Connecticut, and around the world.

They formed a circle and recited a prayer, the Ardas, a plea to God for help before or after completing a significant task.

Passing cars on Old Country Road beeped their horns in support. Children held signs that read: "Sikhs Pray for you," and "Sikhs feel the pain, Connecticut."

The congregation then walked around their temple, completing the circle where it began at the main entrance to the gurdwara.

"We have a saying in our Bible," Chawla said. "When you touch the feet of God, God will stand with you."

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